VIDEO: Senate Republicans outline 'fair but legally defensible' redistricting map

08/15/2013 05:24 PM

FRANKFORT – Senate Republicans released what they’re calling an “extremely fair but a legally defensible” redistricting map in Frankfort on Thursday.

The Republican Senate leadership team, led by Sen. President Robert Stivers of Manchester, unveiled the redistricting plan to reporters Thursday before the General Assembly gathers for a special session to redistrict the counties because of population shifts in the last U.S. Census report.

Stivers said the plan was to release the map before the session to dispel rumors circulating of unfair treatment under the plan.

“We are not wanting to circumvent the will of the people who elected the 38 individuals by moving numbers…or combining districts,” Stivers said. “That’s why we believe up and down the line this is an extremely fair, but a legally defensible map.”

While there weren’t any Senate Democrats at the announcement, Stivers said he thought that most of the minority party were pleased with the map, and he expressed that this redistricting likely had the most input from the minority party.

“(Senate Democrats) have had more input than any minority party has ever had into a redistricting map,” Stivers said. To which Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer added, “in the history of Kentucky.”

Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo met with Governor Steve Beshear and Stivers to formulate a plan for the procedure of the special session.

Stivers said the House will start the bill in their chamber Monday and then pass it to the Senate “hopefully on Wednesday” where the bill would be referred to the Senate State and Local Government Committee after being accepted. The Senate would attach their redistricting plan as an amendment to the bill and send it back to the House for concurrence.

The House and Senate decided not to “meddle” in the other chambers maps, because “it would lead to an ultimate gridlock,” he said.

House leaders announced they would publicly present their proposed redistricting map in Frankfort on Friday.

“Both Senator Stivers and I committed to the governor that we would have our maps ready to go when the special session started and, with the proposed House map coming tomorrow, I never had a doubt that this would happen,” Stumbo said in a press release. “I anticipate each chamber will pass the other’s map and the session will not last more than five days. We’re on target to meet that commitment.”


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