SALEM, Ore. -- The Oregon Legislature approved redistricting plans on the congressional and statewide levels on Monday.
After the bills were passed, the 2021 Special Session was brought to an end, according to a statement from officials.
Senate Bill 881 creates six new congressional districts, and Senate Bill 882 creates Oregon’s new state legislative districts. The addition of the sixth congressional district comes after a 10.6% jump in population from 2010 to 2020, above the national average of 7.4%. It’s the first time in 40 years that Oregon has gained a seat, officials said.
After signing the bills, Gov. Kate Brown issued a statement: "The right to vote is sacred. In Oregon, we know that every vote matters because every voice matters in our electoral process. I’d like to thank the Legislature for coming together, through adversity, to pass legislation for redistricting. We do not always all agree, but when we find common ground, we can work together to do what is best for Oregon."
Republicans returned to the Capitol for the vote after a no-show on Saturday. Tension remains, however, as Democrats say the new maps are "fair" and "representative" and say they listened to feedback from Oregonians across the state, while GOP lawmakers continue to call the congressional redistricting plan "gerrymandered." A statement from Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod in Lyons said court challenges are expected.