Rep. Jill York says redistricting is necessary but the numbers don't add up in House map

05/31/2013 09:20 AM

Representative Jill York, R-Grayson, said members of the legislature know redistricting is a necessary readjustment to following the census data, but the numbers don’t add up in the last proposed House map.

In the final days of the 2013 session, the Democratic majority in the House passed a new suggested redistricting map. But one of the big hold-ups on the House map was Elliott County.

The map that passed ultimately put Elliott County and the area of Boyd County where Democratic House Floor Leader Rocky Adkins currently lives with Carter County, where Republican York lives.

This is the second year in a row York has been placed in the same district with Adkins in a proposed map.

“If we look at Eastern Kentucky which everyone wants to say is the troublesome spot and ‘gosh darn it Jill, we don’t mean for this to happen to you, its just the way the numbers worked out.’ Actually, if you look at the way the population increases and decreases took place, the contraction took place in South Eastern Kentucky,” York said (at 1:00).

York said the coal regions, many represented by democrats, saw decreases in population of close to seven percent which would lend itself to changes when redrawing district maps. Whereas the two counties in York’s district saw some increases in population, according to York.

“But when it comes time to make these adjustments, rather than removing where there was loss, we want to remove where there was gain,” York said.

During the legislative session, there was debate over whether or not to count federal prisoners in the proposed redistricting maps. Federal prisoners are currently counted in Congressional maps.

York said she believes the federal prisoners either need to be counted in both maps or neither to provide consistency. And York said if the maps proposed in the possible special session to tackle redistricting do not include the federal prisoners, they could be challenged in court.

“I think our constituencies need to know how we come to our decision making and that we are following some rules,” York said (at 4:20). “In this regard, we are picking and choosing the rules. I think citizens deserve to know why their government is making decisions and that they can count on them to make them in a consistent pattern.”

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