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Friday, February 10, 2012

Senate Panel Approves "Ben Chandler Lifetime Employment Act" Compromise Plan To Redraw Congressional Districts, Over The Objections Of Committee Chairman Damon Thayer, And Others.

Senate panel approves compromise plan to redraw congressional districts
By Jack Brammer

A Senate panel approved a compromise plan to redraw the boundaries of Kentucky's six congressional districts Friday morning, ending weeks of deadlock between Senate Republicans and House Democrats.

The Senate State and Local Government Committee approved the congressional redistricting map over objections of committee Chairman Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, in an 8-3 vote. The bill now goes to the full Senate.

Sen. Tom Jensen, R-London, said the new plan had been agreed upon by Kentucky's congressional delegation.

The new map moves Garrard County from the 6th District to the 2nd District, puts part of Jessamine County in the 2nd District and splits Boyd County between the 4th and 5th districts.

Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr, R-Lexington, called the new plan a "Ben Chandler Lifetime Employment Act."

Chandler, D-Versailles, represents Central Kentucky's 6th District. He narrowly won re-election in 2010 over Republican Andy Barr, who is challenging Chandler again this year. However, the deletion of Republican-leaning Garrard County and a portion of Jessamine County will hurt Barr's chance of winning in November.

Thayer said the congressional map is the first bill to get out of his committee over his objection. Thayer, Kerr and Sen. Jimmy Higdon, R-Lebanon, voted against the bill.

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