After two hours of heated debate, the Kentucky House of Representatives has approved new district lines. House Bill 1 passed 63-34 with only two representatives not voting.
Many Republicans took to the floor to argue against the plan, calling it ugly politics. There are nine Republican members who will have to run against one another under the new redistricting map, and nearly all of them took to the floor to argue against the bill.
But House Speaker Greg Stumbo, a Democrat, maintained there aren’t any malicious ideas behind the new plan.
“Nothing that’s contained in this bill is done with any intent or malice,” Stumbo said on the floor. “Nothing in this bill is done to be blatantly unfair to any person. Nothing in this bill is done to do anything other than what we’re charged with doing and that is to redistrict every ten years and stay within the confines of the law.”
Republican leaders in the state House say they are still mulling over a constitutional challenge the new map. House Republican Leader Jeff Hoover said the caucus is keeping all of it’s options open right now.
“Well we’re looking at what options we have with regard to the concerns that we’re raised on the floor about the overall plan,” Hoover said. “And we haven’t really got into that far enough yet, but we will look at any and all options that may be available to challenge it. If we believe it’s worthy, after we reviewed in more detail then we’ll make a decision on that.”
A Republican plan in a floor amendment was defeated on party lines. Stumbo called the amendment racist at one point, saying it reduced a minority majority district in Lexington.
Republicans called that a ‘mistake’ they would fix, and many rejected the idea that they had purposefully drawn the district that way.
But in the end, Democrats passed both their own plan and new Supreme Court maps.
The redistricting process now moves to the state Senate, which will draw their own Congressional, judicial and Senate districts.