In order to give prospective candidates added time to file for office because of new redistricting maps, House Bill 172 passed the Senate Thursday and was then signed by Gov. Andy Beshear. Sponsored by House Majority Floor Leader Steven Rudy, HB 172 moves the filing deadline for all state and local candidates seeking office in 2022 from January 7 to January 25.
The moving of the filing deadline was to accommodate candidates who may be running in different districts once the House and Senate approve final redistricting map proposals, which are still on track to receive final votes on Saturday, January 8.
The House on Thursday voted its redistricting proposal (HB 2) and its Supreme Court redistricting proposal (HB 179) off the floor, sending both bills to the Senate. Also on Thursday, the Senate granted passage its own redistricting plan, SB 2, as well as a redistricting package for Kentucky’s six congressional districts in SB 3. Additionally, the Senate passed SB 20 on Thursday, which would reassign any redistricting lawsuits heard in circuit court to the plaintiff’s home county.
Senate President Robert Stivers, who sponsored SB 20, said the bill would change the current process, wherein the Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court names a three-judge panel to hear redistricting challenges. Stivers also said his bill addresses concerns from some members of the legal community, who suggested the three-judge panel potentially could potentially violate Kentucky’s Constitution.
The House Committee on Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Intergovernmental Affairs plans to hear all three Senate bills (SB 2, SB 3, and SB 20) on Friday upon adjournment of the House, while the Senate State and Local Government Committee will hear the two House bills – HB 2 and HB 179 – also on adjournment Friday, setting up final floor votes on all five bills on Saturday.