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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

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Eye On Boise

It could be even worse for E. Idaho

The Idaho Falls Post-Register, in a recent editorial, says Eastern Idaho interests that are challenging the current legislative redistricting plan, claiming it favors North Idaho, “should be careful what they wish for.” Why? Because growth in the past five years, since the 2000 census, has been concentrated in Ada, Canyon and Kootenai counties – not in Eastern Idaho.

“Kootenai County has grown so quickly that whatever advantage it got from the redistricting commission has evaporated,” Post-Register editorial writer Marty Trillhaase wrote. “Eastern Idaho’s lawsuit says the north is 13,318 people light for the number of lawmakers assigned to it. But Kootenai County’s population alone has jumped by more than 14,200 since 2000.” That means if updated figures are used, Eastern Idaho could actually lose even more representation, as districts are adjusted to match the population and make sure they still reflect the one-person, one-vote rule.

“As bad as the ‘02 plan was for eastern Idaho, a 2005 plan could be even worse,” Trillhaase wrote. “Until this region figures out how to expand its economy and population to keep up with the western and northern sections of Idaho, every reapportionment will force us to yield legislative clout to those regions. We’re playing a losing game here. There’s no need to rush into the next round.”

Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.