Spin Control

Redistricting panel: No East Side boundaries yet

OLYMPIA -- The Washington Redistricting Commission has no maps yet for Eastern Washington's legislative boundaries or for the state's new congressional boundaries.

Commissioners might -- emphasize the conditional here -- have maps by Thursday.

If not, well, probably Friday.

The commission is facing a pretty tight deadline of Jan. 1 to get boundaries drawn for all 49 legislative districts and 10 congressional districts. That's one extra congressional district for Washington, which currently has nine.

Commissioners managed to kick out maps for the Puget Sound, Olympic Peninsula and southwest Washington last Friday, and scheduled meetings for Tuesday through Friday of this week.

Commissioners Dean Foster and Tom Huff are working on the East Side legislative maps, and had slightly different takes on progress.

Foster: "We're exchanging ideas and maps and moving along quite well."

Huff: "We've got a considerable distance to go. But time will tell."

Commissioners Slade Gorton and Tim Ceis sounded slightly more upbeat on the congressional maps.

Ceis: We;ve actually narroed the issues considerably. We may be able to discuss something by the end of the week."

Gorton: The differences that we have can be settled, relatively quickly."

After commissioners kick out the maps, the work isn't done. County auditors have to look at them to make sure the panel hasn't done anything like draw a line through someone's living room. And staff will have to draft fairly complicated and extremely detailed language for a bill the Legislature needs to pass that will spell out the boundaries.




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