NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says his call for the state’s first judicial redistricting in nearly 30 years is an attempt to run government more efficiently and not motivated by politics.
The Blountville Republican announced Monday that he’s requesting that the Senate Judiciary Committee examine judicial districting and encourage individuals and organizations across the state to submit redistricting plans that promote “efficiency, effectiveness and access.”
Ramsey and other backers of his initiative noted that the last judicial redistricting occurred in 1984. Tennessee currently has 31 judicial districts that determine where the area’s judges, district attorneys and public defenders serve.
“There are some districts that are way over a judge or two or three or four, and some districts are under one or two,” Ramsey told reporters at a news conference. “I think this will give … us an opportunity to figure out how to take that same money, reallocate it and make it work much more efficiently.”
Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris said that Tennessee had only five counties with 100,000 people or more after the 1980 census, and now the state has 12.