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Oregon House Republicans boycott redistricting vote

Oregon lawmakers have until Monday to get new maps finalized.

Posted: Sep 25, 2021 8:19 PM

SALEM, Oregon — The partisan battle over redistricting in Oregon continued Saturday morning.

House Democrats drafted a new congressional map in hopes of getting Republicans on board for Saturday's vote.

"It’s the result of negotiations that happened over the last 24 hours," said Democratic House Rep. Khanh Pham.

The state's redistricting effort is happening after the 2020 census found that for the first time in 40 years, Oregon's population grew by so much, the House required a sixth seat.

The new proposal would likely create a majority of safe seats for Democrats, one for Republicans and the last would be a toss up.

House speaker Tina Kotek announced both parties were reviewing the plans Saturday morning and pushed the session back to 1 p.m. that afternoon. But when the time came, few Republicans showed up.

Republican House Rep. Daniel Bonham called the new map "a dressed up version" of the old one that "will have the same results."

Bonham said he's upset with House Speaker Kotek for revoking her promise to let bipartisan committees lead the way in drawing up Oregon's new legislative districts.

"We made an agreement, Speaker Kotek lied and these maps need to die," said Rep. Bonham.

Rep. Pham fired back at Republicans for skipping vote.

"Walking out should be a very hard decision, very rarely used," she said. "It can't be used just when Republicans disagree with something that is happening."

Lawmakers have until Monday, Sept. 27, to get new maps finalized. If it doesn't happen, The Secretary of State will draw up state legislative districts, and committee of five judges will handle congressional districts.

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