FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 19, 2013) — The Kentucky General Assembly convenes today in special session to draw new state legislative boundaries based on population data from the most recent federal Census.
On Friday, House Democratic leaders presented a redistricting map that Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said is “both fair politically and that meets every single legal requirement.”
All House members were given the opportunity to participate in the map-drawing process, he said, and “this map reflects their considerable input.”
This latest map splits 24 counties — 22 that are too large to hold a single House district and two others that are mathematically required to maintain equity. That enables each of the 100 districts to stay within plus or minus five percent of the ideal population, which is little more than 43,800 people, according to a press release from Stumbo’s office. Minority voting rights are also preserved, he said.
The map also pairs eight current members, half of whom are Democrats. That includes House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins and Rep. Kevin Sinnette in the 100th District; and Reps. John Will Stacy and Hubie Collins in the 97th. Four Republicans also are paired: Reps. Myron Dossett and Ben Waide in the 9th District and Reps. C.B. Embry and Jim DeCesare in the 17th.
The proposed maps includes four new open districts: the 36th in Jefferson County; the 49th in Bullitt County; the 53rd in Anderson, Spencer and Bullitt Counties; and the 99th in Elliott, Rowan and Lewis Counties.
On Thursday, Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, presented a plan that would split only three counties and create no new open seats.
Crafted by the Republican leadership, the plan represents “a process of mathematics and criteria, not politics,” said spokesperson Lourdes Baez.
The Senate proposal would split Jefferson, Fayette and Kenton Counties, and would not put any incumbents within the same district.
Stivers’ counterparts in the House presented a plan earlier in August that would have placed four Democrats and four Republicans in shared districts and split only two voting precincts.
If the legislature is unable to agree on a redistricting plan, a three-judge federal court panel has said it will draw constitutional maps within the next three months.
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