hazard-herald.com

Looking forward to new Senate district

Sen. Brandon Smith Ky. Senate Majority Whip

August 28, 2013

After each U.S. Census, it is the Constitutional duty of the state legislature to realign voting districts according to population shifts. Last week, we did just that as the Senate and the House passed legislation that drew new district lines. Keep in mind, the federal court still has to rule on the constitutionality of both the Senate and the House maps, but the Senate is confident its map will pass constitutional scrutiny.


For many of us, the job of drawing new district lines is never an easy one because we have developed personal relationships through the years with the folks in our communities. For that reason, it was of particular concern to the Senate to create a fair plan, with input from both the majority and minority caucus members. I am pleased we respected the will of the voters by not pairing elected legislators creating a situation where they would have to run against each other. In addition, the Senate split no precincts and divided as few counties as possible.


The district I serve, District 30, is now comprised of Bell, Breathitt, Johnson, Leslie, Magoffin, and Perry Counties. Rest assured, having represented Perry, Harlan and Leslie Counties since 2001, and Bell County since 2008, I look forward to the opportunity to increase my representation to such a diverse and thriving area of our state. As a lifelong resident of Hazard and the proud son of a coal miner, I feel vigorously tied to our mountains and the people of our district.


As you know, as Senate Majority Whip and Vice Chair of the Natural Resources and Energy Committee, I am actively engaged in the issues that affect our area, with access to a wide variety of helpful policy information. I will continue to work hard to represent your needs in the Capitol. I have an open door policy of legislating; my phone number is listed and available to all my constituents, my office in Frankfort is always open to visitors, and I proudly display my voting record.


With the conclusion of this special session, the regular interim committee meeting schedule will continue as we move into fall. In addition, we will begin to prepare for the 2014 Regular Legislative Session during which we will craft a biannual budget. I can assure you it will be a large challenge. I know many of you may have questions on the possible effects of the budget, as well as certain priorities in your communities. I look forward to discussing this matter with you and hearing your feedback and suggestions.


I plan to visit each of my counties in the upcoming weeks, but welcome you to Frankfort any time. I continue to be humbled by the opportunity to serve the region I so dearly love and look forward to new adventures and friendships in the new 30th District. Please contact me toll free in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181 or via e-mail at brandon.smith@lrc.ky.gov. You can follow the legislative proceedings at www.lrc.ky.gov.