By Jack Brammer — firstname.lastname@example.org
FRANKFORT — The top Democrat and Republican in the Kentucky House are at odds about when to tackle Round Two of legislative redistricting.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said Monday that House Democratic leaders will recommend to the majority caucus that the 2013 General Assembly, which begins in January, take up the redrawing of state legislative districts to conform to population changes.
But House Minority Leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, said lawmakers should first focus on fixing the state’s public pension problem and tax reform in the 2013 session, which has only 30 working days compared to 60 days in even-numbered years.
Redistricting could occur later in 2013 in a brief special legislative session, Hoover said.
House Republicans and Democratic state Sen. Kathy Stein of Lexington successfully challenged new legislative maps that were approved earlier this year by the Democratic-led House and Republican-led Senate.
The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that the maps were not properly drawn and upheld a temporary injunction to stop lawmakers from moving Stein’s district in Fayette County to northeastern Kentucky.
Redistricting must be completed by January 2014, Hoover said.
Stumbo said lawmakers will be in Frankfort for the 2013 session, “and it’s probably best to do redistricting then.”
Hoover said later would be better unless “a bipartisan plan that is fair to all can be arrived at very quickly.”
He noted that he has not yet seen any specific proposal from the Democrats.
The majority Republicans in the Senate are expected to consider a timetable for legislative redistricting during a retreat next month. Senate GOP members are to choose their leaders for the next two years in a meeting Tuesday afternoon in Frankfort.
Jack Brammer: (502) 227-1198. Twitter: @BGPolitics. Blog: bluegrasspolitics.bloginky.com