Richards and Stone: Lawsuits Put Added Pressure on State to Get Redistricting Done

May 19, 2013

A Warren County lawmaker says he agrees with Governor Steve Beshear on the need to get legislative redistricting maps done before the 2014 General Assembly.

Bowling Green Representative Jody Richards told WKU Public Radio he hopes House and Senate leaders can come to an agreement on new maps ahead of a possible special legislative session this fall.

"I hope that everybody gets together, and that we do a five-day session, which is the quickest you can possibly do," said Richards. "We don't need to get up there and argue. Everything needs to be settled before we go."

Richards says two lawsuits filed against the state over the lack of a redistricting plan are adding to the urgency lawmakers feel about getting new maps passed. Those lawsuits were filed by a group of county clerks in northern Kentucky and the state chapter of the ACLU, and accuse the state of violating federal law by not having in place new legislative maps based on the latest U.S. Census data.

"I think these lawsuits that have been filed put pressure on the whole system to get something done," said Allen County Democratic Rep. Wilson Stone. "But that's the Governor's call, and I understand that he is talking to our legislative leaders."

During an appearance in Bowling Green last week, Gov. Beshear told WKU Public Radio he wants to call a special session possibly in the fall to get the matter resolved. Beshear said lawmakers need to have an agreed-upon plan in place before such a session begins, so that it lasts as few days as possible.

The Democratic-led House earlier this year passed its version of a redistricting plan that would have placed three incumbent GOP representatives in the same district. The Republican-led Senate rejected those maps.