It splits Republican Pulaski County four ways and Republican Laurel County five ways.
The earlier 2013 House map, which was passed by the Democratic-controlled House but never taken up in the Republican-controlled Senate, placed 11 incumbents together, all but one of them Republicans. That caused Republicans to cry foul.
But Democratic Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said Friday the latest map is fair and will withstand judicial scrutiny.
“We have a plan that is both fair politically and that meets every single legal requirement,” Stumbo said. “We gave all House members the opportunity to take part in this process, and this map reflects their considerable input.”
Minority Leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, reserved final judgment on the new plan until his members can review it over the weekend, but his initial reaction seemed relatively positive.
“I’m pleased that Speaker Stumbo is, at least on its face, moving toward a fairer plan for redistricting,” Hoover said. “While we haven’t reviewed the details of his plan, which will we do before the start of the special session on Monday, at least on its face we believe this proposal is moving toward a better approach on redistricting.”
Senate Republicans released their own map for that chamber on Thursday and it pitted no incumbents against another and was met with general approval by the Democratic minority.
It’s easier to draw districts without combining incumbents in the Senate because the 38 districts are individually much larger than the 100 House seats. Hoover and House Republicans released a map they preferred last week and it too pared eight incumbents – four from each party just as the latest Democratic House plan does.
The General Assembly convenes Monday in special session to pass new legislative districts. The plan is to pass maps for both chambers and judicial districts in five days.