FRANKFORT — A redistricting plan passed by state house Democrats would change the geography and number of Lincoln County's representative district, but local Rep. David Meade says its unlikely to become law.
The plan, which passed the Kentucky House of Representatives 53-46 last week, would place Lincoln County in District 55, along with Casey County and a portion of northwestern Pulaski County.
Lincoln currently sits in District 80, along with Rockcastle County and a small portion of Pulaski.
Meade, R-Stanford, would be the incumbent from District 80 but would run for the District 55 seat in 2014 under the plan, he said.
Meade said if the plan were to pass the state senate and voters in his new district elected him again, it would be "easy adjustment."
"By being rural areas made up of small towns, Casey and Lincoln have many things in common," he said. "We share many of the same wants, needs and values."
But Meade said he would not appreciate losing Rockcastle County. And the new district Rockcastle would be a part of would not accurately represent that county's citizens, he added.
The Democratic plan would reform District 80 to include Rockcastle County, a strip of western Madison County and a chunk of southern Fayette County.
"How does putting Rockcastle, which I represent, in a district that includes southern Fayette County … meet the needs of the people?" he said. "Many people from Rockcastle have told me they don't want this, and I don't believe their needs are met in that plan."
Meade voted against the plan as it passed. He also voted in favor of five different Republican-backed floor amendments to the bill that failed.
"The version of the bill that passed was a plan that was designed behind closed doors by two or three members of the other party's leadership," he said. "It pitted 11 incumbent Republicans against each other and one Republican against a very well-known member of Democrat house leadership. The plan was designed to simply eliminate Republicans."
Meade said the failed floor amendments proposed by Republicans included one that simply re-numbered a pair of districts so an incumbent representative could keep his current district number and one proposed by Rep. Jonathan Shell from Garrard County that would have erased many drastic changes proposed for Lincoln, Garrard, Boyle, Casey, Madison and Fayette counties.
After passing the Democratically-controlled house, the redistricting bill was received in the Republican-majority senate last week. But Meade said Senate President Robert Stivers has said he has "no intentions of taking up redistricting this session."
"I have spoken with some of the senators and we all feel that the bill will not go anywhere in the senate, and we will hopefully go back to the drawing board," Meade said. "With more time and both sides working together, we can create a bi-partisan map that will truly be beneficial to all the people of the Commonwealth."