Redistricting special session starts today

By on Monday, September 20th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News Columbia Basin Top Stories

SALEM – The Oregon Legislature starts a special session this morning (Monday) at 8 to try to draw lines for legislative districts based on the new 2020 Census figures. In addition, Oregon will be adding another seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

State Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Athena) sits on the Senate Redistricting Committee and he says the issues at stake are major as the Democrats’ super majority in the Legislature could influence those lines.

“We’ve got a new Congressional seat for Oregon,” Hansell said. “There’s a lot of work to be done, and it’s been my focus.”

If the Legislature is unable to agree, redistricting goes to the secretary of state’s office. Challenges to the redistricting plan can be heard by the Oregon Supreme Court. Redistricting is much later than normal this year, because the census figures were delayed due to COVID-19.