Redistricting proposals take shape

2011-06-29T23:45:00Z 2011-06-30T01:06:58Z Redistricting proposals take shape

By JOAN BARRON

Casper Star-Tribune‌

The Billings Gazette
June 29, 2011 11:45 pm  • 

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The committee that is undertaking the once-a-decade job of redistricting the Wyoming Legislature received more proposed regional plans Tuesday evening during a meeting in Cheyenne.

Laramie County Clerk Debbye Lathrop presented a plan for her county, which would expand some districts and shrink others to conform to the 2010 U.S. Census figures.

Lathrop’s plan confines the proposed changes to Laramie County’s boundaries.

The proposals were made at the Legislature’s Joint Interim Committee on Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions’ sixth statewide public meeting of the year. It was held at the Laramie County Public Library.

The committee’s ideal new population distribution would be 18,788 for each Senate district and 9,394 for each House district. A deviation of 5 percent from the ideal is allowed.

The Wyoming Constitution requires the Legislature to reapportion its membership in the first budget session after the federal Census is issued.

The new plan will go into effect for the 2012 elections.

Rep. Pete Illoway, R-Cheyenne, the committee co-chairman, said redistricting in Laramie County can change depending on alterations made in the northeast Wyoming counties, which lost population over the past decade.

For example, he said it is possible that parts of Goshen County may dip into Laramie County to pick up population.

Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, a Republican who represents House District 43 in Cheyenne, objected to Lathrop’s plan because it splits the Sun Valley addition in his district. He asked the committee to consider keeping Sun Valley intact.

Meanwhile, Rep. Hans Hunt, R-Newcastle, presented a proposed statewide plan.

Sens. Marty Martin, D-Rock Springs, and Stan Cooper, R-Kemmerer, presented an extensive proposed plan that covers western and southwestern Wyoming and extends into Albany County to the east and Natrona County to the north.

Illoway suggested that Martin and Cooper talk with Rep. Keith Gingery, R-Jackson, who is working on a proposed plan for Teton County and surrounding counties.

Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, the committee co-chairman, said the Martin-Cooper plan splits the city of Rawlins.

“Rawlins might not like that,” Case said. He noted the committee will meet in Rawlins later.

The committee will have six additional public meetings.

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