Evening Conversation: Idaho Redistricting Commission
Monday, December 9th, 2019 6:30pm- 8:00 pm
Boise State Radio Community Room 220 E. Parkcenter Blvd (Yanke Family Research Park)
Speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives Scott Bedke and Dr. Gary Moncrief , BSU Distinguished Political Science Professor Emeritus
The Evening Conversation event is designed to bring differing, and potentially contentious view points to the table, while allowing a civil and engaged audience into the conversation. Our aspiration is that during the dialog portion of these Evening Conversation events, Members may disagree without being disagreeable and in keeping with those values, zealous advocacy will be embraced, as long as such advocacy is civil, responsible, and reflects City Club’s mission. We ask guests of this Evening Conversation to be mindful of others during the engaged dialog bound to occur during these conversations, and beyond. Our hope is that this intimate setting will open the doors for even more engaged citizenry in our community around relevant and difficult topics to be presented.
In 1994, the Idaho Legislature approved SJR 105, a proposed constitutional amendment to alter the way state legislative and congressional redistricting was done in Idaho. Since more than two-thirds of the legislators in each chamber voted in favor of SJR 105, it was submitted to the citizens of Idaho in the November 1994 election. A simple majority of those voting in the general election was needed; the vote was 64% in favor, 36% opposed and therefore SJR 105 was approved as a constitutional amendment, creating a new independent reapportionment (redistricting) commission in Idaho.
There are six members of the Commission, three chosen by Republican officials and three chosen by Democratic officials. A majority of the Commission must agree on a plan in order for it to go into effect. This requirement forces compromise between the two parties. The amendment also includes some specific guidelines for what constitutes a valid redistricting plan. These include protection of county boundary lines whenever possible, maintaining communities of interest, and avoiding “oddly shaped” districts. The amendment also stipulates that the number of legislative districts must be between thirty and thirty-five.
In the 2019 legislative session Representative Steven Harris (R) District 21, Meridian, introduced HJR 2 to amend Section 2, Article III of the Idaho Constitution to add a seventh member to the Commission. The proposed change would have had the seventh member selected by majority vote of five elected officials, Governor, Lt. Governor, State Controller, State Treasurer and Superintendent of Public Instruction, all of whom are currently Republicans. While it failed to pass in the last legislative session a proposed revision to the Constitution to add a seventh member is likely to be offered again in the 2020 legislative session.
Another proposed revision to this section of the Idaho Constitution would be to increase the number of legislative districts above the current limitation of 35.
Join Speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives Scott Bedke and Dr. Gary Moncrief, BSU Distinguished Political Science Professor Emeritus, as they examine the different sides of the questions about the size of the Reapportionment Commission and the number of legislative districts in Idaho.
Civility will be required. City Club champions “passionately non-partisan” discussion between diverse perspectives.
Time: 6:30 PM -8:00 PM Location: Boise State Radio Community Room 220 E. Parkcenter Blvd (Yanke Family Research Park) Event Cost:
$15 City Club Member price
$20 Non-member price
*Attendance will be limited to 30 people to allow everyone the opportunity to engage in the conversation.
Evening Conversations sell out quickly, don't wait to register!
Water and lite refreshments will be provided during this event.
City Club thanks our Premier Sponsor, Northwest Nazarene University and the NNU School of Business and our Annual sponsor, Idaho Humanities Council.