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Eye On Boise

Redistricters making progress, could agree on plan today…

Idaho's redistricting commission has convened again this afternoon after a lunch break, and plans to meet in open session all afternoon and work on its legislative district plan. “You will know exactly what we do,” said Co-Chair Dolores Crow. The bipartisan commission has a working copy of its plan that's basically the previous plan, L-87, with revisions to it to try to limit it to no more than seven county splits, including splitting Ada and Kootenai counties internally only. It's possible they could reach agreement on a new plan today.

In North Idaho, the major change is that a chunk of southeastern Bonner County would be paired with Shoshone County and points south in a legislative district, rather than with northern Kootenai County, to avoid splitting any part of Kootenai County off into another district with other counties. “The Supreme Court has said we've got to keep Kootenai whole,” said Co-Chairman Ron Beitelspacher. “So we've got to figure out exactly where in the devil we're going to take it from.” Pointing to the map, Beitelspacher said, “There are no roads from Shoshone County into Bonner County here,” though a state statute requires road connections. “If we move with this, we're going to have to pass a motion to suspend that with at least five votes.”

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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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