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Kentucky lawmakers release redistricting maps for 2022

Every 10 years states are required by the U.S. Constitution to redraw their Congressional and legislative maps.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Editor's Note: The above video is about the House redistricting maps released last week.

The proposed Kentucky House, Senate and Congressional redistricting maps for 2022 have been released.

Every 10 years states are required by the U.S. Constitution to redraw their Congressional and legislative maps. The process is commonly referred to as redistricting.

"These maps will determine what district you live in and who's is going to be voting on your behalf in Frankfort and in Washington DC for the next 10 years," Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said. 

Legislation for the Kentucky Senate and Congressional redistricting plans was introduced Jan. 4, 2022, as lawmakers convened for the first day of their new legislative session.

Proposed Congressional map

The much-awaited 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. 

"There were a lot of people who wanted us to try to cut it up and make it more Republican, but we basically stuck with the current layout for Jefferson County," Thayer, R-Georgetown, said. "Jefferson County is a Democrat County. We accept that Louisville is blue. Why try to cut up the district? Give the people of Louisville what they want. They want to most likely want a Democrat representing them in Congress."

Congressional redistricting plan

Credit: Legislative Research Commission

Proposed Kentucky House of Representatives map

Kentucky's House Republicans released their maps on Dec. 30, 2021. 

The proposed map consolidates four incumbents' districts, meaning they'd have to run against each other in upcoming elections. 

The legislators at risk of having their districts combined include: 

  • Louisville Reps. Mary Lou Marzian (D-34) and Josie Raymond (D-31)
  • Louisville Reps. McKenzie Cantrell (D-38) and Lisa Willner (D-35)
  • Eastern Kentucky Reps. Norma Kirk-McCormick (R-93) and Bobby McCool (R-97)
  • Western Kentucky Reps. Lynn Bechler (R-4) and Jim Gooch (R-12)

The GOP proposal also includes four majority-minority districts, where the majority of the constituents being represented would be minorities.

House redistricting plan

Credit: WHAS11

Proposed Kentucky Senate map

Majority Floor Leader Senator Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) said the Senate map reflected in Senate Bill 2 will make sure "one person equals one vote, according to the 14th Amendment." 

As with the House maps, there were some big changes to districts in eastern and western Kentucky since those areas saw population declines in the last decade. 

Despite that, Thayer said the population shifts didn't majorly impact Jefferson County, where Louisville is located. 

Thayer also said incumbent senators were put into the same district, something four House members will be faced with if their proposed plan is approved. 

Senate redistricting plan

Credit: Kentucky Senate

Senate President Robert Stivers (R-Manchester) also filed Senate Bill 20 Tuesday, which would change the judicial process of redistricting, avoiding a potentially long review of the maps.

These proposed maps are being fast-tracked through the House and Senate, and both chambers plan to meet Saturday to take their final vote on them. 

If the governor vetoes any or all of the maps, GOP leaders said they intend to meet the following day to override the action. 

Lawmakers will be extending the candidate filing deadline so people running for office know boundaries for districts they're running to represent.

Instead of candidates having to file for office on Jan. 7, they would now have until Jan. 25.

Contact reporter Rachel Droze at rdroze@whas11.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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