Commissioners revise redistricting proposals

Associated Press

OLYMPIA — Washington’s citizen Redistricting Commission, fast approaching a deadline for redrawing congressional and legislative district boundaries, on Monday entered the horsetrading stage of the deliberations.

The two Democrats and two Republicans floated their revised proposals.

Examples of the changes:

  • Dean Foster, a Democratic commissioner from Olympia, agreed with the other three commissioners to move Eastern Washington districts westward through the Columbia Gorge.

  • Bobbi Krebs-McMullen, a Democrat from Mount Vernon, proposed keeping Mercer Island in the 8th Congressional District, as Republicans prefer, instead of moving it into the Seattle-dominated 7th District, as both Democrats originally proposed.

  • Republican Dick Durham of Seattle stuck with his original plan to move Everett to the 1st Congressional District — from the 2nd — but revised both his 1st and 8th district lines to dovetail with plans offered by fellow Republican John Giese of Bellevue. Durham also places Bellingham in one legislative district and divides Whatcom County into two, rather than three, districts.

  • Giese proposed linking Bainbridge Island with the Seattle-based 36th legislative district and agreed to leave Olympia largely in the 22nd district, as Democrats want.

    The commission has until Dec. 15 to adopt new maps. At least three of the four commissioners must approve the new plan. The Legislature can make only minor changes, and then only with a two-thirds vote in both houses. The governor’s signature is not required.

    Using data from the 2000 Census, Washington must be carved into nine congressional districts of about 650,000 people each. The 49 legislative districts must be drawn with about 120,000 people apiece.

    Copyright ©2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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