Back In Session… Redistricting First Focus for Lawmakers

UPDATED: Amid the pageantry of the first day of the legislative session, the Kentucky state Senate filed two bills representing their attempts to redraw the Senate and Congressional District maps in Kentucky.

The bills, Senate Bill 2 and 3, were released online Tuesday evening. According to Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, the Senate map will not pit any incumbent lawmakers against one another, but the map will have some lawmakers in districts that are now open and vacant, causing those individuals to run for election in a new district. The reason for the changes, specifically in the Golden Triangle of Kentucky, which includes Louisville, Lexington, and Northern Kentucky at the three points, is because of population growth in urban centers.

A look at the new map is below:

With roughly 4.5 million Kentuckians, the ideal Senate district needs to include 118,500 Kentuckians to account for equal representation.

Among those who will now have to run for election in a new district is state Sen. Adrienne Southworth, R-Lawrenceburg. Her district has been shifted, as Kentucky Fried Politics first published it could be back in early December.

Stivers also gave hints at what the Congressional map will look like when it is revealed, telling reporters on Tuesday that the map will leave most of the 3rd Congressional District in place. Jefferson County has grown past the allowable level of individuals under equal representation, and it will now be split once with part of the south and southeastern portions of the county now placed in the 2nd Congressional District.

The map largely dispels the fear amongst some Democrats of an attempted land grab from Republicans as the Louisville Congressional District is up for grabs in an open seat election with the retirement at the end of this year by U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville.

A look at the Congressional map as it appeared Tuesday evening places 1st Dist. U.S. Rep. James Comer with a district the runs from West Kentucky all the way to Franklin County, where he owns a home and lives.

Stivers said he and other Republicans are rooting for state Rep. Attica Scott, D-Louisville, to win in a primary battle against state Sen. Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, because they think she is beatable in the General Election.

Redistricting will likely be completed by the end of the week. Stivers said the filing deadline, currently set for this Friday, will be pushed back by lawmakers to accommodate the process.

Lawmakers in the Senate are also going to consider a 2-year state budget, school governance legislation, changes to deal with a shortage of nurses, as well as ongoing discussions on hero pay and tornado relief.

A more comprehensive review of the maps will be published later after further review.