Ky. (WYMT) - The next election is still several months away, but the new Kentucky House and Senate districts have not been set. Lawmakers say the plans for redistricting could become law as early as the end of the Friday.
Redistricting is required every ten years to adjust for population changes which the U.S. Census Bureau documents. With the population shifting throughout Kentucky during the last decade, it is that time again.
"The governor and I had talked earlier in the year, and because there were no elections this year, we did not think there was a necessity to have a special session. But then two federal actions were filed, lawsuits, which dictated we come in and have that special session, or the courts were going to draw the districts and we didn't want to abdicate our authority," said State Senate President Robert Stivers.
With no plans in place, lawmakers will work to draw the new house and senate districts during the special session this week, so representatives of the people, not federal courts, decide district lines.
"Governor Beshear has seen both plans now and he has indicated that he will sign those into law just as quick as he receives them so hopefully, by Friday, we'll have a constitutionally accepted plan in place for both the house and the senate," said House Speaker Greg Stumbo.
Lawmakers say moving quickly in a cooperative fashion will send another important message.
"I think we're trying to set a new tone in Frankfort to make the debate and make the state legislature not as partisan. We've seen what's happened in Washington with gridlock. I don't think either side, Democrats or Republicans want that to occur in Kentucky," Speaker Stumbo said.
Under the current House plan, there will be two pairs of Democratic incumbents and two pairs of Republican incumbents who would run against each other.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo says it is important to get the law passed as soon as possible in order to give future candidates enough time to decide if they want to run in their district.