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Kentucky House Committee Passes Redistricting Maps After Long Wait

The House State Government committee has advanced a new redistricting map to the House floor after weeks of closed door debate.

Last year's state House and Senate districts were ruled unconstitutional by the Kentucky Supreme Court after House GOP members challenged them in court. The new House districts would create seven new districts all across Kentucky, where no current lawmakers reside. 

Those districts are: 

  • House District 1 -- Fulton, Hickman Carlisle and Ballard counties, with parts of Graves County. 
  • House District 19 -- Warren County/Bowling Green
  • District 36   -- East Louisville
  • District 49 -- Bullitt County
  • District 54 -- Anderson, Shelby and part of Bullitt county
  • District 88 -- Fayette County/Lexington
  • District 96 -- Powell, Estill and part of Madison county.

And it put a total of 13 incumbents into a race with at least one other incumbent, in six districts. Of those races, 12 of the 13 incumbents will be GOP members facing off against each other, should they decide to run.

  • House District 2 -- Rep. Steven Rudy v. Rep. Richard Heath
  • District 5 -- Rep. Lynn Bechler v. Rep. Ben Waide
  • District 17 -- Rep. Jim DeCesare v. Rep. Mike Meredith v. Rep. C.B. Embry
  • District 89 -- Rep. Marie Rader v. Rep. Toby Herald
  • District 91 -- Rep. Mike Harmon v. Rep. Jonathan Shell
  • District 99 -- Rep. Jill York v. Rep Rocky Adkins (Democrat)

The map does not include federal prisons in the numbers, which House GOP Leader Jeff Hoover argues is to help Democrats hold onto control since those prisoners were used when Congressional districts were re-drawn last year.
"If we don't count them, it makes it a little easier to hold onto power, we're not gonna count them in the state plan, I think there's something very inconsistently and inherently very wrong with that," Hoover says. 

But Democrats made the point that many other states don't include federal prisoners in their state level redistricting maps and say their map is constitutional.

Hoover says his caucus hasn't decided whether to challenge these maps.

And with the bill being taken up on the floor quickly tomorrow, House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he expects heated debate over the new maps.

"There's always heated debate in redistricting, I mean that's just the nature of the beast, so yes I expect there will be heated debate," he says.

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