House and Congressional redistricting maps vetoed by governor

On Wednesday, Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed the redistricting plans drawn by the General Assembly and passed during the first week of session.

Every ten years, the legislature is constitutionally required to craft new legislative, Congressional, and other district maps based on population shifts shown in census data.

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Beshear released his veto message on House Bill 2, the House plan, Wednesday afternoon, calling the map “unconstitutional political gerrymandering.”

“This redistricting plan appears designed to deprive certain communities of representation,” the Governor said, also pointing to “excessive splits” in some of the state’s larger counties.

House Speaker David Osborne released a statement immediately after receiving the message stating the House will use their legislative authority to override the veto.

“We are disappointed that the Governor has chosen to again veto lawfully enacted legislation. He is wrong on the facts, wrong on the law, and he knows it. This proposal meets all legal considerations. It splits no precincts, divides the fewest number of counties possible, and preserves communities of interest. As a result of carefully and intentionally following the guidelines, it even has the added benefit of significantly increasing minority representation. By issuing this veto, the Governor is showing that at best he is poorly informed, and at worst it is blatant political posturing,” Osborne said.

The Governor also vetoed the new Congressional map crafted by the Senate and passed by both legislative chambers. Beshear said the map was drafted without public input.

“One look at this map reveals what those who drafted it in secret were trying to hide: the redistricting plan is political gerrymandering. Most egregiously, it re-draws the First Congressional District to wind across hundreds of miles, from Franklin to Fulton County,” Beshear said. “Plainly, this map is not designed to provide fair representation to the people of Kentucky and was not necessary because of population changes.”

The legislature will be able to override the vetoes if they choose and the maps will not go back to the Governor in that scenario but the maps could be challenged in the courts.  

Stay tuned to The Bottom Line for more updates.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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