10:11pm

Thu January 5, 2012
State Capitol

House Makes 1st Attempt at Redistricting

The Kentucky House of Representatives took the first step toward passing new redistricting maps today. The House State Government Committee passed a new congressional district map penned by House Speaker Greg Stumbo. The map would put Owensboro in the 1st District and Ashland in the 5th District. It also splits seven counties: Jefferson, Jessamine, Allen, Whitley, Pulaksi, Bullitt and Scott.

Lawmakers on the committee expressed their feelings over some of the worst splits, like running a slice of Jessamine County into the Second District and splitting Bullitt into the Second and Fourth Districts.

Another split was Pulaski County, home county of Fifth District Congressman Hal Rogers. And in Whitley County, the city of Corbin is in the Fifth District, but the rest of the county is in the Second.

In his defense before the committee, Stumbo said his maps adhere completely to the one man, one vote requirement.

“You know if you look at these numbers on the last page, there right on the number,” Stumbo said. “There’s less of an ability of an ability to in and say well I like this precinct but I don’t like that one. It becomes more of a pure mathematical numbers game.”

Stumbo also rejected the idea of passing a map requested by Kentucky’s current Congressional delegation, saying the Congressmen couldn’t fairly draw their own public maps nor could the General Assembly give up its responsibilities.

The House hopes to pass a new Supreme Court district map and a map with its own House districts early next week. The Congressional map passed today is expected to be changed in the Senate.