Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) signed legislation Friday to make permanent new state legislative district maps after two years of legal feuding over population distribution, the Lexington Herald Leader reported.
The new maps now head to a three-judge panel for final approval. Beshear said in a statement Friday he believes the maps will withstand any legal challenges. An initial agreement on district lines was ruled unconstitutional by Kentucky’s Supreme Court earlier this year.
Once legislative leaders hammered out an agreement on the new district lines, Beshear called the legislature back into special session. The proposed maps passed the House and Senate by wide, bipartisan margins.
The new district lines are unlikely to change the partisan makeup of either the House or the Senate. Democrats control the House by a 55-to-45 vote margin, while Republicans hold a 22 to 14 majority in the Senate, with one independent. But the maps will force eight House members — two pairs of Democrats and two pairs of Republicans — to run against each other next year.