Lars Larson

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Lars Larson

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With the release of 2010 Census data last week, Oregon lawmakers and their staffs are embarking on redrawing the boundaries of legislative and congressional districts to account for population shifts. Sen. Chris Telfer of Bend, the top Republican on the committee, said maps under preparation would show how the current districts are over or underpopulated. Her District, which is in the fastest-growing part of the state during the past decade, will have to shrink by about 28,000 people. Deschutes County grew by 49% in the past decade. It's a task they have failed to achieve for decades; especially in 2001, when a threatened parliamentary maneuver by the House's majority Republicans prompted a five-day walkout by House Democrats. Republicans never followed through after Senators from both parties said they would not go along and Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber, then in his second term, vetoed both plans passed by Republican majorities. If lawmakers fail to enact plans by July 1, Secretary of State Kate Brown will get the chore of redrawing the Legislative Districts so that each Representative has about 63,000 people and each Senator about 126,000 people.

 

 

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