Legislature Approves Redistricting Measure

(SALEM) – The Oregon Legislative Assembly gave approval this morning to a measure redrawing the boundaries of the 60 House and 30 Senate districts in the Oregon Legislative Assembly to reflect population changes in the 2010 census.

Senate Bill 989 passed the Senate 27-3 and the House on a 47-10 vote a short time later. The measure now goes to Governor’s desk where it could be signed into law as soon as Monday.

It’s the first time since 1981 that lawmakers have agreed on a Legislative redistricting plan.

“Everyone said it couldn’t be done. They said it wouldn’t be done. Some people even said it shouldn’t be done. But this Legislature didn’t take a pass,” said Senate President Peter Courtney. “The redistricting committees in the Senate and House didn’t listen to the naysayers. They accepted the ‘mission impossible’ and got the job done.”

“I am extremely proud of the work the House and Senate Redistricting Committees did throughout the session to get to this point,” said House Co-Speaker Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg). “Redistricting is a politically-charged effort that I still believe is better suited for an independent effort outside of the legislative process, but reaching an agreement is a testament to the cooperative spirit of our members and the session as a whole and I am grateful for their work.”

“We’ve worked well together all session and we’ve accomplished more than anyone thought possible in a 30-30 House,” said Co-Speaker Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay). “Credit goes to our chairs for being willing to work together to get this very tough job done.”

Senate Bill 989 is based on hours of public testimony taken in a series of public hearings held throughout the state by the House and Senate Redistricting Committees. It honors the obligation of the Legislature to complete a plan by June 30.

“We heard what Oregonians said about redistricting and about working together to accomplish good things for Oregon. We hope we have succeeded on both counts with this redistricting plan,” said Representative Chris Garrett (D-Lake Oswego), co-chair of the House Redistricting Committee.

“This is an historic occasion for this legislature and the people of Oregon. It’s been my honor to work with my Republican and Democratic colleagues on passing the first bipartisan legislative redistricting plan in many years. The plan shows that legislators from different parties and different parts of our state can work together to tackle tough issues,” said Representative Shawn Lindsay (R-Hillsboro), co-chair of the House Redistricting Committee.

“Today’s vote on SB 989 is historic for the Legislature and the people of Oregon. This plan was designed to ensure that Oregonians have good, fair representation in Salem for the next decade,” said Senator Suzanne Bonamici (D-NW Portland/Beaverton), chair of the Senate Redistricting Committee. “The process has taken us from the Willamette Valley to eastern Oregon, to the north and south coasts, and areas in between. We were encouraged that so many Oregonians participated in the process and offered testimony on how we should draw this new map.”

“This redistricting map is the product of hard work and thoughtful compromise.  I believe it will serve Oregonians well and provide them with good representation,” said Senator Chris Telfer (R-Bend), vice chair of the Senate Redistricting Committee. “I am proud of what was accomplished and believe it is an example of what the legislature can do when it decides to work together.”

Maps of the House and Senate districts approved in Senate Bill 989 can be found at http://www.leg.state.or.us/redistricting/.