Ky. Lawmakers plan to pass redistribute maps swiftly – 89.3 WFPL News Louisville
Republican lawmakers plan to quickly pass new political maps in the next legislative session, giving the public about a week to see exactly what the Kentucky State House, State Senate, and Districts will look like. of Congress before their adoption.
The United States Constitution requires states to redraw legislative and congressional districts every 10 years using new census data to ensure equal representation. In Kentucky, it is the the first time that the Republicans will be in charge of the redistribution in the history of the once democratically controlled state.
Republican legislature leaders have already started drawing new maps behind closed doors despite calls from Democrats and League of Women Voters to be more transparent about the process.
Senate Speaker Robert Stivers, a Republican from Manchester, said the cards were nearing completion and he expects lawmakers to pass them quickly.
“I think what we would do is start presenting bills on day one, and I think the redistribution plans would be done in the minimum number of days, put on the governor’s desk in part one. next week, âStivers said.
Democratic Governor Andy Beshear will have little influence on the redistribution effort. If Beshear decides to veto the cards, the two Republican-dominated houses of the legislature can easily bypass the action.
Barring a legal challenge, the cards will be in effect for next year’s contests when the six Kentucky congressmen and most of the state legislature are re-elected.
But the redistribution will always require a certain legislative gymnastics to be implemented in an orderly manner.
The deadline for candidates to submit their candidacy is January 7, three days after the start of the legislative session.
Stivers said lawmakers plan to pass a bill to delay the filing deadline, but he’s not sure by how much.
âJust for a short period of time,â Stivers said.
Stivers once again called on Beshear to summon lawmakers to Frankfurt in the coming weeks to tackle the redistribution in a special legislative session. Beshear said he would consider the possibility of lawmakers showing him their plans.
Stivers rejected this idea.
âIt is not his role to define politics. It’s ours. And where are the neighborhoods is our prerogative. And he can veto it or not. If he does it in the regular session, we’ll ignore it, âStivers said.
The reason the Kentucky redistribution process is particularly hectic this year is US census demographics arrived at the end of this year, and lawmakers didn’t get the information they needed to draw new maps until September.
But the process of redistributing the state after the 2010 census was also complicated, taking several years. The first cards have been removed by the State Supreme Court in 2012 for having too many population disparities between districts and dividing too many counties. Legislative and congressional candidates ran in card districts from the previous decade until new cards were finalized in 2013.
This year, lawmakers will be responsible for balancing districts after major population displacements from rural areas of the state to more urban ones. This will likely mean fewer legislative districts in the eastern and western parts of Kentucky.