Both chambers introduce redistricting bills on first day - News, Weather & Sports

Both chambers introduce redistricting bills on first day

State Sen. Damon Thayer State Sen. Damon Thayer
State Rep. Greg Stumbo State Rep. Greg Stumbo
State Sen. David Williams State Sen. David Williams

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - The United States is a democracy where citizens elect representatives, but according to federal law the person you vote for could change. The Kentucky General Assembly has to redraw the districts of state and federal representatives in response to population shifts. Legislators must agree before the end of the month, or they may have to push back candidate's filing deadline. 

"Redistricting is probably one of the most contentious issues the legislation deals with," said House Speaker Rep. Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg.

That's because it's all about them. Elected officials are deciding the boundaries and districts for themselves and fellow politicians.

"I am in favor of putting some geographic balance into the plan and that's what I attempted to do with the plan that I have and it may well be that we aren't able to reach an accord on that and the court system will have to work it out," said Stumbo.

Stumbo introduced his bill on day one of the session. On the other side of the building Sen. Damon Thayer introduced Senate Bill 59 and 60, which got their first readings on redistricting.

"I think we would like to resolve that as quickly as possible," said Thayer. "The filing deadline is as late as it can be this year, January 31."

The filing deadline is for candidates running in November, but they need to make sure they know which district they are in before the deadline.

"I would like to see it passed you know, Monday, Tuesday," said Stumbo.

Thayer, who chairs the State and Local Government Committee, agreed the legislation needs to move quickly, but would not set a deadline. It appears there are disagreements between republicans and democrats over the congressional districts.

"I don't think any conversation I've had with the Speaker on this indicates that there is any overwhelming problem that we have not been able to work through," said Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville.

Both chambers gaveled in just after noon on Tuesday.

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