BOISE, ID -- Idaho’s legislature is showing support for efforts to move Oregon’s border.
Former Oregon House Speaker Mark Simmons, who lives in Elgin, testified before Idaho’s House State Affairs Committee this week in support of the Greater Idaho Movement, “We see this as a solution. Consider us refugees. Consider us…We would like to be good neighbors to the folks on the west side, while they continue with their social engineering experiments; go ahead. Just leave us out.” Elgin says bringing his and other eastern Oregon counties into Idaho is best for both states, “We want to see the kind of law that reflects faith, family, moral virtue, self-reliance, hard work, the things that Idaho is based on, applied in our side of Oregon.”
The State Affairs Committee asked about the potential cost to Idaho of taking on the large rural area, but voted unanimously to approve ‘House Joint Memorial One’ with a recommendation that it be passed by the full House. It states the Idaho Legislature “stands ready to begin discussions with Oregon’s Legislature” about the potential relocation of the border.
“Why wouldn’t we want to have a conversation that involved increasing water, and some of the resources, agriculture, timber, minerals?” said Idaho State Representative Barbara Ehardt.
Greater Idaho Movement spokesperson Matt McCaw testified eastern Oregonians don’t fit in with the state in which they live, “The people of eastern Oregon are very similar to the people of Idaho, culturally, economically, socially, values-wise, politically. As Rep. Ehardt has mentioned several times, it makes far more sense for the people of eastern Oregon to get their state-level government from Idaho that matches their values. And that’s what we’re asking you all to do.”
A similar proposal in Oregon’s Senate is not yet scheduled for a hearing.