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Despite some grumbling, lawmakers finally approve legislative redistricting plan

Senate Minority Leader Chris Rothfuss
Bob Beck
Wyoming Public Media
Senate Minority Leader Chris Rothfuss

The Wyoming House and Senate finally reached a deal on a new redistricting plan late Friday night allowing the legislative session to come to an end. While both sides passed it easily, there are concerns.

It adds one Senator and two Representatives to the total number of legislators, so there will be 31 Senators and 62 Representatives. That irritates Rock Springs Sen. John Kolb.

“I don’t want to grow government, I don’t think the solution is much better than the 60-30 plan at the end of the day. Of course it’s a little different but we end up in the same spot,” said Kolb. “I just don’t think it’s the way to do things, I think we can do a better job. And if anybody can tell me why more people in government can do a better job I’m all ears.”

The final map is slightly above deviation in Sheridan County, which is the ratio of residents to legislative districts. That’s because of a decision to pull the towns of Arvada and Clearmont out of Campbell County and connect them with a House District which is mainly in Johnson County. This was the preference of the townspeople.

Senate Minority Leader Chris Rothfuss said they should have been able to have a constitutional map.

“And instead we basically ran out of time. It’s kind of like when you’re out of time and you have to submit your homework and here we are. But at the end of the day it isn’t living to the standards and obligations we were supposed to be putting forward,” said Rothfuss.

Sheridan Sen. Dave Kinskey said being out of deviation is a small price to pay for getting what everybody wants. The bill goes to the governor for his consideration.

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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