Ky. House, Senate consider proposed redistricting plans
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky lawmakers have advanced several bills to draw up new district lines for House and Senate seats, also those for the commonwealth’s six congressional seats and the state supreme court.
All of that, along with a bill to extend the filing deadline for candidates who want to run in this year’s elections was voted on in two committees Wednesday.
Kentucky’s population changed in the 2020 census. So, new boundary lines for those serving in both Frankfort and Washington, DC will be changing as well. Several bills dealing with those changes easily cleared two legislative panels Wednesday.
Representative Jerry Miller, R-Eastwood, says the new lines reflect population shifts and in this case, eastern and western Kentucky saw decreases while there was growth in Lexington and Louisville and northern Kentucky.
Several incumbents in both parties will be running against each other.
In the Senate committee, the new Senate district map also easily passed, by an 8-2 vote. Senate President Robert Stivers says because of their population, five counties, including Fayette and Jefferson had to be split.
“Has split as few as counties as possible, and does not put any sitting member in a district with another member,” said Sen. Stivers, R-Senate President.
Senators Morgan McGarvey and Adrienne Southworth voted against the state senate map.
“So, I would urge that this process be looked are more carefully. That we all engage more. Do this heavy lifting,” said Sen. Southworth, R-Lawrenceburg. “It’s only every 10 years. It’s hard to be an expert. Right now, we need to slow it down. Right now, I’m a no vote.”
One of the more drastic changes with all of these maps is for the First Congressional District. That district, now served by Rep. James Comer, stretches all the way from western Kentucky across west and central southern Kentucky and up the 127 corridor to include Franklin County.
Comer currently owns a home in Frankfort.
The House committee also passed the bill to extend the deadline for candidates who want to file for office in this year’s elections. It is currently this Friday at 4 p.m. If House Bill 172 passes, it will be moved for one year only to January 25 at 4 p.m.
The full House and Senate are expected to have the third and final readings and votes on the respective bills Thursday and then the other chamber could vote on them Saturday.
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