David Williams says he'd rather approve new district lines long before January

05/04/2011 12:15 PM

If given a few weeks notice, state lawmakers could be ready to approve new state legislative and congressional district lines, state Senate President David Williams said.

“We’re ready if the governor wants us to come in” for a special session, Williams said.

Only the governor can call lawmakers for a special legislative session. Otherwise, the General Assembly isn’t scheduled to meet again to pass bills until January.

Williams said he’d like to deal with redistricting sooner rather than later because the candidate filing deadline is in late January.

“I think the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky deserve an opportunity to know where the new … House and Senate lines are and the congressional lines — in a timely manner so people can take a look before the filing deadline if they wish to run for the General Assembly or the United States Congress,” he said. (He says that at about the 43-second mark in the video below.)

In the last round of redistricting after the 2000 Census, lawmakers approved the new lines in January and bumped back the candidate filing deadline.

In that case, the state House leaders outlined new districts for House seats and the Senate did the same for Senate districts. Leaders from both chambers consulted with the incumbent members of Congress on the district lines for those six seats. Williams said at around the 1:30-mark in the interview that he expects it to happen in similar way this time.

Also, the state House will have an informational meeting about redistricting for incumbent lawmakers at the House chambers on May 18 — the day after the May primary elections.

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