Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

State News

February 3, 2012

Lawmakers closer on new district mapping

FRANKFORT — Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo said Thursday that lawmakers in the Republican Senate and Democratic House are close to an agreement on re-drawing the congressional district map.

The two sides had split on their respective plans, with Stumbo and the House seeking to re-align especially the First, Second and Fifth districts. That didn’t sit well with Republicans, either those in the Senate who said the new map should resemble the existing one with the necessary population shifts, or congressional Republicans like Hal Rogers and Brett Guthrie.

Guthrie wanted to keep Daviess County in his Second District while Stumbo’s plan would have moved it to the First in order to reduce the number of counties in the First, which currently lie east of the Second District. Rogers was unhappy with Stumbo’s plan because it split Pulaski County where he lives and moved Wayne County where he was born to the Second District.

Stumbo said Thursday that Rogers’ staff had initiated a late effort to work out a compromise and he’d seen a proposed map to which he thought both sides could agree. That plan, he said, would leave Daviess County in the First District and move all of Pulaski and Wayne counties back into Rogers’ Fifth District.

He also said Boyd County was split between the Fourth and Fifth Districts but he couldn’t say in which of those Ashland is placed on the compromise map. There was also talk that perhaps Carter County might be split between the Fourth and Fifth — both Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, and Senate Minority Leader R.J. Palmer, D-Winchester, said they’d heard Carter was also split, but neither had seen a map and couldn’t be certain.

Stumbo said Rogers was satisfied with the compromise and that Ben Chandler, D-Versailles, who represents central Kentucky’s Sixth District “is satisfied” with the map.

The Speaker said he hoped the plan could be released late Thursday so any prospective candidate could see it before Tuesday’s filing deadline. Lawmakers extended that deadline last week by seven days and may have to extend it once more.

But early Thursday evening, Stumbo’s press spokesman Brian Wilkerson alerted reporters no map would be released Thursday. The General Assembly has already cancelled Friday on the legislative calendar so Monday would be the first day they could take up a compromise plan.

Ronnie Ellis writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at rellis@cnhi.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort 

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