Despite a request from Gov. Steve Beshear to put off redistricting until later this year, state House Speaker Greg Stumbo is moving forward with getting proposals on the divisive issue.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Stumbo sent a letter to House members asking them to submit proposed boundaries for new legislative districts by Feb. 1.
Stumbo said after the proposals come in, lawmakers would decide whether to try to tackle redistricting during the 2013 General Assembly, which resumes on Feb. 5 and is set to end March 26. Rep. Tommy Thompson, a Democrat from Owensboro, told WKU Public Radio he hopes lawmakers take up redistricting this year instead of putting it off until 2014, when House and Senate elections will be held.
Gov. Steve Beshear is urging legislative leaders to delay General Assembly redistricting.
In a letter to House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President Robert Stivers, the governor says he’d like them to hold off redistricting in the 2013 legislative session and instead take up other important issues, such as pension and tax reforms.
Beshear is opening the door to handling redistricting in a special session instead, because the issue tends to cause hard feelings after lawmakers see their districts changing.
“If we drop redistricting on top of all of that, it might well create such turmoil that we couldn’t get anything done,” Beshear says.
Lawmakers must still re-draw their own districts — after the Kentucky Supreme Court threw out maps drawn in 2012 — calling them unconstitutional. Redistricting of Congressional districts is already finished.
Legislative leaders are going to take another crack at approving payments to lawyers who fought to defend last year’s redistricting maps. The Legislative Research Commission hired the attorneys earlier this year to fend off challenges to new district maps.