After a nearly two-year long battle that eventually ended up in the courts system, the two bodies of Kentucky legislative government appear to have re-drawn district boundaries in such a matter that is likely to remain in place.
The new boundaries were the result of work by the House of Representatives and the Senate during a special session called by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear that began last Monday and came to a close after the minimum five days last Friday.
For Clinton County, the results of the new boundaries will mean that local residents will still be calling Monticello’s Sara Beth Gregory their Kentucky State Senator and Jamestown’s Jeff Hoover their Kentucky State Representative.
Both Gregory and Hoover are Republicans.
On Friday, Kentucky Governor Beshear issued a press release praising both chambers for their work on the redistricting issue and the eventual drafting of the bill that contained both sets of boundaries, House Bill 1.
“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 five day special session that was called to deal solely with the redistricting issue, cost Kentucky taxpayers some $60,000 per day, or a total of $300,000 for last week’s five day session.
Although Clinton County residents will not notice a change in their representation, the districts for both Hoover’s 83rd and Gregory’s 16th, did undergo significant changes during the redrawing procedures.
Hoover, who’s former district only included his home county of Russell along with Clinton County and a small portion of Pulaski County, will now also be representing all of Cumberland County as well.
Cumberland County had formerly been a part of the 53rd District .
Gregory’s 16th Senatorial District underwent considerable more change with the new boundary.
Her district lost Monroe County on the west to the ninth district, and Whitley County on the east to the 25th District.
Meanwhile, she picked up two counties, Adair from the 15th District and Taylor County from the 14th District.
The redistricting of both the House of Representatives and the Senate is mandated to occur every 10 years to reflect changes in area populations according to the U.S. Census results.
An earlier attempt last year at redistricting was struck down by the Kentucky Supreme Court after being determined as unconstitutional.
That previous attempt would have actually eliminated some Republican representatives and Democratic senators from their respective seats.
The new plan signed into law by Governor Beshear will still have to meet the scrutiny of three federal judges who have been assigned to oversee the boundary drawing process.
Last week’s measure passed the Senate by a vote of 35-2, before moving on to the House, which approved the measure by a 79-18 margin.
Previous Southern Kentucky House boundaries
Current Southern Kentucky Senate boundaries
Previous Southern Kentucky Senate boundaries
Maps produced by the Legislative
Research Commission Geographic Information Systems Office