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Senate shakes up legislative redistricting plan

New Senate 30/60 map
Bob Beck
Wyoming Public Media
New Senate 30/60 map

After a lengthy debate the Wyoming Senate has voted to change the legislative redistricting plan to have 30 Senators and 60 Representatives.

A committee had proposed one additional Senator and two Representatives, but many in the Senate said they didn’t like the idea of growing government and voted to support an amendment by Sheridan Sen. Bo Biteman to keep the legislature at its current size.

Late last year, the committee in charge of crafting new legislative districts had a tough time agreeing on a plan that members of the public both wanted and was within the federal requirements of having legislative districts essentially the same size. Sen. Ogden Driskill accused supporters of the amendment of only focusing on what works for them.

“And I am angry we spent months on this. The plan’s for the state of Wyoming. It’s not for my district or my people. It’s for the state,” said Driskell.

Biteman said his amendment is fair and is only slightly over-deviation at around 450 people statewide.

“I think any sane judge would see what we’re doing Mr. President and say you guys did a good job. There’s no political motivation in this map, we didn’t touch the minority party, but some people are so hung up, Mr. President, on this ten percent deviation that they can’t see straight,” said Biteman. “And evidently Mr. President, they can’t think straight.”

The Senate will debate the bill one more time.

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
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