Kentucky Association of Counties

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The Kentucky Association of Counties

Redistricting bills nearing the finish line

By Grace Clark, Communications Associate
With House and Senate redistricting a top priority, legislators advanced bills addressing redistricting quickly through both chambers as the 2022 session got underway.

Senate redistricting 

Senate Bill 2, sponsored by Sen. Robby Mills and Senate President Robert Stivers, addresses Senate redistricting. It passed out of the Senate Thursday, 28-4. Legislators will discuss it today in the House Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs committee, and it is expected to pass with little opposition. That sets up a House floor vote when legislators convene Saturday.

President Stivers emphasized that the maps split as few counties as possible and align properly with rules to ensure that they are as contiguous and as equal in population as possible. Based on the 2020 Census, Kentucky’s population is just more than 4.5 million, averaging approximately 118,000 residents in each of the 38 Senate districts. Population growth and shifts led to changes in the legislative districts, including population declines in the eastern and western regions of the state, and increases in central and northern Kentucky. 

Five counties have been split into multiple districts to create districts with a population size with no more than a 5 percent deviation from the ideal population of 118,574. The proposed Senate maps do not pit any incumbents against each other. 

House redistricting

House Bill 2 passed out of the House Standing Committee on Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Government Affairs  Wednesday and on the House floor Thursday, 71-19. It is sponsored by Rep. Jerry Miller. It passed out of the Senate State and Local Government Committee today and is expected to pass on the Senate floor Saturday and on to the Gov. Andy Beshear's desk.

Similar to the Senate district map, House districts must fall within a population size with no more than a 5 percent deviation from the ideal population of 45,000. In total, 23 counties have been divided to create districts with as equal a population size as possible. 

Discussion on the maps remained on par with Senate discussions, with dissenters emphasizing the lack of community engagement and representation.

Congressional redistricting

Senate Bill 3, sponsored by Sen. Robby Mills and Stivers, addresses Congressional redistricting. The bill passed the Senate committee Wednesday and off the Senate floor Thursday, 28-4. Dissents focused primarily on the lack of compactness in certain districts. 

Supreme court redistricting

House Bill 179, sponsored by Rep. Jason Nemes, addresses the state’s Supreme Court districts. It passed out of the House Thursday on a vote of 81-2 and passed out of the Senate State and Local Government Committee Friday morning. It heads for a Senate Floor vote Saturday. View the redistricting map here

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