Governor Signs Kentucky Redistricting Bill into Law

The new maps that redraw the legislative boundaries for Kentucky's senators and state representatives are now law.

Governor Steve Beshear signed the bill that changes the boundaries for the legislative districts after each chamber passed them Friday.

The final say belongs to three federal judges overseeing the state legislature's plans. Maps passed in 2012 were ruled to be unconstitutional.

Beshear issued a statement Friday afternoon. “I’m pleased that our legislators have met the constitutional requirements for new districts and that this special session was held to the minimum five-day period, and I have signed the bill so these new districts take effect immediately," Beshear said. "I expect these maps will withstand legal scrutiny, so all Kentuckians can be assured of appropriate representation in the General Assembly.”

The House approved the redistricting bill 79-18 on Friday morning and the Senate followed with a 35-2 vote for approval.

The legislators returned to Frankfort on Monday to begin work in a special session on redistricting. Though the final bill passed with broad bipartisan support, the plans were not without criticism.

Some Northern Kentucky lawmakers had complained that the House districts in the region were crammed too full and should have been drawn to give an additional seat to the area.

Senator Chris McDaniel (R-Taylor Mill) voted in favor of the bill but spoke sharply in the direction of the House before the vote. "Quite frankly, as it relates to this measure, I'm torn on my vote because the House plan does split communities of interest in Boone County, Crescent Springs, Crestview Hills, Ft. Mitchell Lakeside Park, and many others. This is completely unnecessary," McDaniel said.

"However, under the senate plan, many of those same communities find themselves reunited from previously having been split between representation from myself and the senator from Boone."

McDaniel ended his statement by arguing that the House turned the redistricting process into a political charade.

(SEE PREVIOUSLY: RCN Talks to Sen. McDaniel About Redistricting)

Staff report

Photo: via Commonwealth of Kentucky