Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

‘A long shot’: Midvale Republican wants to talk to Oregon about Greater Idaho

By Ryan Suppe Idaho Statesman

The Idaho Legislature may soon ask its neighbors to the west to join a conversation about absorbing some of its counties.

Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale, on Wednesday introduced a joint memorial that would ask the Democrat-dominated Oregon Legislature to discuss the Greater Idaho movement with the Idaho Legislature.

The movement seeks to secede eastern Oregon counties from their state and join Republican-led Idaho, which better aligns with their political ideals.

“Eastern Oregon has been quite unhappy with their state,” Boyle told the House State Affairs Committee. “Portland seems to be able to run everything there.”

If the Idaho House and Senate approve Boyle’s joint memorial, it would have no legal effect. Oregon lawmakers last month introduced a similar measure, calling on Idaho to join the conversation. Lawmakers have yet to vote on it.

County secession would require support from the Oregon and Idaho legislatures as well as Congress.

“Is it a long shot? Probably,” Boyle said. “But how will we know if we never start?”

Eleven Oregon counties in recent years have voted to support the Greater Idaho movement in some fashion, such as directing their local officials to hold meetings or allowing them to use taxpayer money exploring the idea. Morrow and Wheeler counties in November approved ballot measures that showed support for the move.

After those votes, Greater Idaho leader Mike McCarter called on western Oregon to “stop holding our counties captive in this unhappy marriage.”

“Actually, it’s not even as dramatic as a divorce because we’re not breaking up a family,” McCarter said in a news release.