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Senate approves redistricting bill that strongly differs from the House version

Sen. Chris Rothfuss speaks on the Senate floor
Bob Beck
Wyoming Public Media
Sen. Chris Rothfuss speaks on the Senate floor

The Wyoming Senate easily passed a legislative redistricting plan that keeps 30 Senators and 60 House members. Some expect the House to reject the plan and expect legal challenges.

Casper Sen. Charles Scott noted the federal guidelines for population requirements weren't met and he tried to fix that in the bill, but his amendment was defeated. After that a number of other amendments were withdrawn with Jackson Sen. Mike Gireau saying that the writing was on the wall. Sheridan Senator Bo Biteman objected to a previous plan that was heavily vetted and met population requirements, but raised the number of Senators by one and House members by two.

Biteman said he’s pleased with the final product.

“I think the overarching principle is to keep these communities together…and I think that should be number one and respect these geographical differences. Wyoming’s a unique state, we can’t make perfect the enemy of the good,” said Biteman. “We came really close on deviation, I think the plan will hold up.”

Sen. Minority Leader Chris Rothfuss isn’t as thrilled and said the bill is in an absurd state right now.

“It’s not constitutional, no detailed work has been done, the county clerks haven’t looked into it to actually fact check it on the ground. It was more a feeding frenzy of doing everything we believe our individual constituents back home would want us to do,” said Rothfuss.

Since the bill is substantially different from the House version it will likely end up in a conference committee to resolve the differences between the bills.

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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