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Redistricters adopt new legislative plan

Idaho's bipartisan citizen redistricting commission has agreed on a new legislative plan, dubbed L-93; it's now up online on the commission's website. The six-member commission voted unanimously in favor of the new plan. “What we did was we revised L-87 at the direction of the Supreme Court,” said commission Co-Chair Ron Beitelspacher.

He said, “Unfortunately, in my opinion, but at the direction of the Supreme Court, we combined a small part of Bonner County with Shoshone County.” A chunk of southeastern Bonner County, with the dividing line running along Highway 95 and then turning east at Pend Oreille Lake, joins Shoshone County and points south in the new District 7. Beitelspacher said that's among three very large districts included in the plan, and he's not happy about that. “I represented a huge district for several years, and I know how difficult it is for the representer and for the represented,” he said. “I'm not in favor of what we've done” on those large districts.” But, he said, “This is what the Supreme Court has said we have to do.”

The other two large districts are District 8, which includes all of Valley, Gem, Boise, Lemhi and Custer counties; and another in southeastern Idaho that includes Teton, Caribou, Bear Lake, Franklin and Oneida counties and part of Bonneville County. “It's horrible - I think it's horrible,” Beitelspacher said. The new District 8 stretches from a point 11 miles from the Oregon border all the way to the Montana line.

A number of districts remained the same as they were in L-87; those include virtually all of Ada County; Latah and Benewah counties, which form the new District 5; Nez Perce and Lewis counties; and more.


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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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