Kentucky lawmakers send redistricting plans to governor
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - There are now new redistricting plans sitting on Gov. Andy Beshear’s desk.
The lines must be redrawn every ten years, after the census, to reflect Kentucky’s population shifts.
Republican leadership in the Kentucky House and Senate introduced their plans recently. The General Assembly passed them Saturday, but some lawmakers still have concerns about the new boundaries.
Both the House and Senate met on Saturday to pass redistricting plans. This will determine who represents different groups of voters.
“I can tell you that Frankfort has unfortunately become a battlefield,” said Rep. Derrick Graham, D- Frankfort.
Lawmakers argued over redrawn maps created by Republican leaders.
“We are diluting the voices of urban centers when we know the population is headed toward urban centers,” said Rep. Joni L. Jenkins, D-Shively, the House minority floor leader.
Those against the newly proposed legislative districts say they split the urban core of certain communities.
“We say we can’t breathe, you’re killing the urban centers, you’re splitting up the Black folk, you’re making sure we can’t be heard and you’re saying ‘Well, it’s constitutional, it’s the numbers, we don’t mean any harm.’ We’re telling you there is harm, and you don’t care,” said Rep. Pamela Stevenson, D-Louisville.
Rep. Patti Minter, D- Bowling Green, said while her county did grow considerably, she said it was divided too many times in the maps.
“It didn’t need to be cracked more than once,” said Rep. Patti Minter.
Several legislators said the maps were created with a lack of input and the process was rushed.
House Speaker David Osborne pushed back on those claims. He said democratic lawmakers were given several opportunities to collaborate.
“You were given a homework assignment, you turned it in late, incomplete, and then you’re mad because we aced the test,” said Osborne.
Osborne said the changes made were constitutional.
“Understand that input was sought. Yes, this is a difficult process, the most difficult process that we’ve gone through as a legislature.....,” he said. “Nobody wants to lose the people they’ve represented, but the law requires it.”
The bills now heads to Gov. Andy Beshear’s desk.
Lawmakers also approved a bill that would change boundaries for the state Supreme Court’s districts.
The General Assembly next meets on Monday.
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