by Brenna Angel, Kentucky Public Radio
Despite the controversial outcome of a process to redraw state legislative districts, Governor Steve Beshear is hopeful that lawmakers will be able to work together on other important issues.
Beshear signed House Bill 1 into law on Friday. The redistricting plan, which is required every ten years to account for population changes, moved Senator Kathy Stein’s district out of Lexington to northeastern Kentucky and moved Senator Dorsey Ridley from western Kentucky to Lexington. Beshear says he’s upset about what happened, but his hands were tied.
“I considered vetoing the bill, quite honestly, but it would have been a useless act because my veto just would have been overridden by the House and Senate and then there would have been precious little time for anybody to get filed and run for office,” he said.
The Governor says he’s heard talk of possible lawsuits to fight the redistricting plan, but added that those are difficult to win. He now wants lawmakers to focus on the budget and approving a measure that would allow the public to vote on expanded gaming.
“In the next few days you’ll see a bill introduced that would put a constitutional amendment on the ballot and let people vote on that issue in November,” Beshear said. “And I’m hopeful that the Senate will pass it and then the House will pass it and we can get it on the ballot.”
But lawmakers could be reluctant to work on a bipartisan level after the redistricting process, which left many incumbents facing each other in fall elections.