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HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 2

INTRODUCED BY L. RANDALL


A RESOLUTION OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA PROVIDING RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE LEGISLATIVE REDISTRICTING PLAN TO THE MONTANA DISTRICTING AND APPORTIONMENT COMMISSION.

 

A RESOLUTION OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA PROVIDING RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE LEGISLATIVE REDISTRICTING PLAN TO THE MONTANA DISTRICTING AND APPORTIONMENT COMMISSION.

 

     WHEREAS, the Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission submitted its legislative redistricting plan to the Legislature on January 8, 2013, as required by Article V, section 14, of the Montana Constitution; and

     WHEREAS, the Commission adopted criteria to guide the drawing of district lines that preserve the principle of "one person, one vote"; and

     WHEREAS, the House of Representatives commends the Commission for establishing a maximum 3% population deviation, which surpasses the standard of a 5% population deviation; and

     WHEREAS, the Commission formed districts that successfully comply with all requirements of the federal Voting Rights Act and that protect the voting rights of minority populations; and

     WHEREAS, the House of Representatives contends that criteria directing the creation of compact and contiguous districts that preserve communities of interest and, when possible, follow the lines of political and geographic boundaries have not been satisfactorily adhered to; and

     WHEREAS, the House of Representatives contends that the proposed plan does not pass a general appearance test regarding compactness in numerous instances, particularly House Districts 23 and 24 in Cascade County, House Districts 47, 48, 49, and 50 in Yellowstone County, House District 66 in Gallatin County, House District 81 in Lewis and Clark County, and House District 96 in Missoula County; and

     WHEREAS, the House of Representatives contends that the proposed plan fractures communities of interest in House Districts 21, 23, 77, 78, 82, and 84; and

     WHEREAS, the House of Representatives contends that pairings of House Districts made to form Senate Districts fracture communities of interest, particularly the assignments of House Districts 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, and 79 in Deer Lodge, Jefferson, and Silver Bow Counties; and

     WHEREAS, the House of Representatives contends that holdover Senator Webb is assigned to a Senate District predominantly composed of citizens who have never had the opportunity to vote for him, when it is possible to assign him to a district that includes significant populations from his original Senate District; and

     WHEREAS, the Legislature is required to return the plan to the Commission with its recommendations on or before February 7, 2013.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:

     That the House of Representatives urges the passage of amendments necessary for the Legislative Redistricting Plan to conform to the Commission's established criteria. To this end, the House of Representatives recommends that the Commission consider the following amendments:

     (1) redraw House Districts 21 and 23 in Cascade County, House Districts 47, 48, 49, and 50 in Yellowstone County, House District 66 in Gallatin County, House Districts 82 and 84 in Lewis and Clark County, and House District 96 in Missoula County to better meet the standard of a general appearance test regarding compactness. A compact district would be more square-like, as opposed to a long rectangle.

     (2) preserve both compactness and communities of interest by reassigning the following House Districts into Senate District pairings: House Districts 73 and 76, House Districts 74 and 77, and House Districts 75 and 78. The House District lines for Districts 74 and 77 should be moved together in order to meet the contiguous standard in the Commission's criteria.

     (3) redraw House Districts 77 and 78 to keep the town of Anaconda whole; and

     (4) reassign Senator Webb from Senate District 23 to Senate District 22.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be kept on file by the Secretary of State and that copies be sent by the Secretary of State to the presiding officer and each member of the Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission.

- END -

 


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