Questions raised about Senate, Congressional redistricting maps

Issues won't stop passage, which is expected Saturday

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Legislature’s efforts to fast track redrawing lines for their own districts, Congress and the state Supreme Court cleared another hurdle Friday.

The questions on the Senate districts centered on why Fayette County (click here Senate (Fayette) (1)) only has one intact district and seven partials. GOP policymakers argued most alternatives would have given Fayette two intact districts within its boundaries but far fewer districts overall, weakening its influence.

But more questions arose about the state’s six congressional districts (click here Congressional Plan). Splitting Bath, Garrard, and Carter counties were questioned. So was what is known as the Wilmore finger, a sliver from one district into another in Jessamine County and how best to fix it. The First District’s wide reach from Franklin to Fulton counties also was an issue. One of the biggest was fairness to some parts of the state.

“And when I look at these maps, I can see a Jefferson County district very clearly, I can see what looks like a Northern Kentucky District map, I can see an East Kentucky, it’s very large, but I can see it there. I can see Central Kentucky, maybe a Northeast Kentucky. But what I don’t see with this map is a Western Kentucky district and Western Kentucky deserves to have a district in Western Kentucky that’s voted on by West Kentuckians where they have someone who represents them,” said state Rep. Jim Gooch, a Republican from Providence.

Some Republicans want to divide up Jefferson County among four congressional districts to eliminate the state’s one Democratic district. But Republican power brokers steered clear of that to avoid legal challenges.

The House and Senate are expected to approve all the redistricting plans in a rare Saturday session.

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