Legislature will work on redistricting

By on Tuesday, January 5th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

HEPPNER – State Rep. Greg Smith (R-Heppner) said that Oregonians will bear witness to even more partisanship when the Legislature begins the 2021 session. That’s because the senators and representatives are tasked with redistricting based on the 2020 U.S. Census.

“I can tell you there is nothing more partisan than redistricting because effectively it determines who will control the House and the Senate over the next decade,” he said.

The Legislature is already facing a session in which it must devise a budget, deal with repercussions from the pandemic, consider revamping policy regarding law enforcement, and find continued aid for wildfire and flood victims. It’s also required to agree on a formula that will determine Oregon’s political future.

“You watch,” Smith said. “It’s going to be quite a debate. There are going to be lots of stories to be had over who is right and who is wrong as we go through that conversation.”

The Legislature has until Aug. 1 to enact a plan. If lawmakers can’t agree then it will be decided by the Secretary of State’s office. Oregon’s new secretary of state is Shemia Fagan, a Democrat, who was sworn in yesterday (Monday).