Senate GOP floor leader OK with a special session this fall to handle only redistricting

05/01/2013 04:28 PM

The General Assembly is almost certain to descend upon Frankfort again in 2013 with a special session likely in late summer or early fall to tackle the politically contentious process of redistricting.

Pure Politics was the first to report that Gov. Steve Beshear wants to call a special session later this year to redistrict the 100 House districts and 38 Senate districts.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, told Pure Politics on Wednesday in Frankfort that he thought it made sense to approve the new maps before the start of the 2014 legislative budget session.

Thayer said he thought the only issue on the special session call should be redistricting. And he said as long as Senate Republicans can agree on a map before the special session is called, they could get it done in the minimum five days. The cost to the state for a special session is $60,000 per day.

“We’re ready to start refocusing on the redistricting issue,” Thayer said.

The House passed a redistricting map near the end of the 30-day regular session, but the Senate never acted on a map.

Sen. President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said they ran out of time in the session. In a statement released Tuesday, Stivers questioned the House Democrats’ redistricting map that excluded federal prisoners from being counted in the district.

“It was mathematically impossible for the Senate, using the House’s flawed numbers, to adhere to the court ruling that limited the number of split counties to four. It is a shame, but not unexpected given their past actions, that the House now chooses to rewrite history by continuing their games of gotcha politics. The Senate will not be so vindictive. We stand ready to do our duty upon the call of the governor,” Stivers said.

Thayer told Pure Politics that legislative leaders hadn’t yet discussed how to resolve the question of whether to count federal prison populations .


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