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Kentucky lawmakers send redistricting bills to governor

During a rare Saturday session, lawmakers passed bills to redraw congressional and legislative maps that now will be considered by Gov. Andy Beshear.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky lawmakers wrapped up redistricting work during a rare Saturday session. They passed bills to redraw congressional and legislative maps that now will be considered by Gov. Andy Beshear.

Senate Bill 2, Senate Bill 3 and House Bill 2, representing the Senate, Congressional and House redistricting maps respectively, were passed by both chambers Jan. 8.

The Congressional map proposal includes some major changes in eastern and western Kentucky, but largely keeps District 3, which is held by retiring U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Louisville), intact.

The House map consolidates four incumbents' districts, meaning they'd have to run against each other in upcoming elections and the Senate maps include big changes to districts in eastern and western Kentucky since those areas saw population declines in the last decade.

MORE DETAILS: Kentucky lawmakers release redistricting maps for 2022

The measures overwhelmingly cleared the Republican-dominated legislature, which signals that the new boundaries are poised to become law even if the Democratic governor vetoes them.

Another bill passed Saturday, SB 20, changes the judicial process of redistricting, avoiding a potentially long review of the maps. 

Gov. Beshear has ten days to either sign or veto the bills passed Saturday.

While GOP lawmakers have the political muscle to override vetoes, the looming question is whether the boundaries will draw court challenges. The bills’ defenders expressed confidence the map-making work would hold up against any lawsuit. 

The changing boundaries stem from population changes in the past decade.

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