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Redistricters: ‘We’re very close’

There are now just under 49 hours left before the deadline for Idaho's bipartisan citizen redistricting commission to agree on new legislative and congressional district plans; the commission just convened briefly in the Capitol Auditorium, and then recessed for an hour for more work on redistricting plans. It's an extremely rare Sunday session; this commission has never met on a Sunday before; the state's first citizen redistricting commission, which took 76 days to reach its plans a decade ago, also met on the Sunday of its final week of deliberations; the following Wednesday, it approved its plan and adjourned at 8:30 p.m. (That commission, however, took just 76 days to settle on a plan; this commission is pushing its 90-day limit.)

When the commission convened at 4 p.m., GOP Commissioner Lou Esposito said there's been lots of progress - on lines for North Idaho, eastern Idaho, and the Treasure Valley - asked for an hour's recess, 'til 5 p.m. “I think if we have about another hour, hopefully we'll be able to come back with even bigger smiles on our faces,” Esposito said. All sides agreed, and they recessed and headed back up to their work rooms upstairs in the state capitol, which lack air conditioning on the weekends - perhaps providing additional incentive to get the process finished. As he left the auditorium, GOP Commissioner Evan Frasure said, “That's really a more more helpful sign than you think.”

Esposito, as he left, said, “We've made progress in all three areas.” He's holding out hope for decision tonight. “I'm hoping that we're going to be able actually to come to an agreement,” he said. “We're very close.”


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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