Lawmakers approve US House redistricting plan

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP, WPDE) -- South Carolina legislators have given final approval to a U.S. House redistricting plan that would create a new district in the northeastern corner of the state.

The final approval came with a 24-16 vote in the Senate on Tuesday. The House gave its OK earlier in the afternoon.

The new 7th District would be anchored by Myrtle Beach in Horry County and stretch to Chesterfield County.

The measure now moves to Gov. Nikki Haley for approval. It also will face scrutiny by the U.S. Justice Department.

State Representative Alan Clemmons lives in the proposed new district and chairs the House subcommittee that helped craft the plan.

Clemmons says, "Judging the past, judging on history, I would say there is an 85% probability that there will be a challenge by some party. So the courts will be deciding this plan. But, make no mistake, the courts weighing in on whether the plan meets the requirements of the law is much different than going to court and saying 'our legislature couldn't draw a plan, court, you must now draw a plan.'"

Representative Clemmons hopes the map will be agreed on by June 2012. That's when primary elections for U.S. House seats are scheduled for South Carolina.

Redistricting is required every decade to make sure districts reflect population changes. Because of population growth, South Carolina picked up a seventh seat in Congress.

(The Associated Press, WPDE, and contributed to this report.)