RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly are picking up the pace on creating new judicial election districts, with some leaders hopeful an agreement can be reached next week.

House Speaker Tim Moore and the chamber's top judicial mapmaker expressed optimism Friday there would be a deal soon. Moore told House colleagues to be prepared for full work sessions and votes starting Tuesday, the day after a House-Senate judicial reform committee meets.

Key senators suggested more patience for their chamber in working out details, but committee co-chairman Sen. Warren Daniel said a deal could be reached by the end of next week.

Republicans say it's time to overhaul judicial districts statewide for the first time in several decades. Democrats say current district proposals are partisan and racial gerrymanders.