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Redistricting legislation moves along in General Assembly; delays filing deadline until January 25

Legislative. Congressional and appellate court redistricting topped the action taken in both the Kentucky House and Senate on Thursday, the third day of the 2022 regular session of the General Assembly.

The House was the first to take action when they convened at noon.

House meeting Thursday (Photo by Tom Latek/KyToday)

They approved the appellate court redistricting measure, House Bill 179, which includes both the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, since the seven districts are identical, on an 81-2 vote. One member, Rep. Joseph Fischer, R-Ft. Thomas, abstained from voting, as he has filed to run for the Supreme Court.

House members, on a 71-19 vote, approved their chamber’s legislative redistricting bill, which is designated HB 2. The vote was along party lines, with the majority Republicans voting yes, while the minority Democrats were opposed.

Both bills headed to the Senate, where they had their first reading Thursday afternoon, and will be heard in that chamber’s State and Local Government Committee on Friday.

In the Senate, the first bill they passed was a House measure, HB 172, which delay the filing deadline for all candidates from Friday, Jan. 7 to Jan. 25, in order to accommodate the redistricting measures. The Senate voted 22-9 to dispense with the second and third readings of the bill, which received final passage, 28-4.

Since the Senate made no changes to HB 172, it now heads to Gov. Andy Beshear’s desk for his signature or veto.

The Senate next took up the redistricting bill for their chamber, Senate Bill 2, which was approved 28-4.

The Congressional redistricting bill, SB 3, also won passage by a 28-4 margin.

Finally, the Senate passed a measure, SB 20, which would have any redistricting lawsuits heard in the circuit court in the plaintiff’s home county. Senate President Robert Stivers, the bill’s sponsor, said he introduced the change from a three-judge panel named by the Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court, upon concerns expressed by some members of the legal community who thought the panel could potentially be a violation of Kentucky’s Constitution. That measure won 31-1 approval.

The House and Senate will convene Friday at 9 a.m., where they will hold second readings of the redistricting measures sent to their chambers on Thursday and will have a rare meeting at 9 a.m. on Saturday for the third reading and final passage of all the redistricting bills.

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