County's legislative boundaries could change

This is one of the several plans the Oregon Legislature is considering in redrawing state and federal legislative maps. A series of virtual public meetings is scheduled before the Legislature votes on the final map.

Every 10 years the Oregon Legislature redraws the federal and state legislative boundaries, and on Friday, Sept. 3, the Oregon House Interim Committee on Redistricting released its draft plans for the new Congressional, Oregon House and Oregon Senate boundaries.

Currently, Lake County is represented by three people in the Oregon House as portions of the County are split into the 55th, 58th and 60th Districts.

Under the draft maps released by the House Interim Committee on Redistricting, Lake County would go from having three people representing different portions of the County in the Oregon Legislature to all of Lake County being in one district.

Under House plans A and B, Lake County would be in House District 60, which is currently represented by Mark Owens, who has indicated he will run for re-election. Under House plan B, Klamath County would encompass its own district and be House District 56. Under House plan C, Lake County would be part of House District 59, which will also encompass part of Klamath and Deschutes counties; Daniel Bonham currently represents House District 59.

In the Oregon Senate, Lake County is represented by the 28th and 30th Senate Districts but under the draft maps released that will be changing. Under Senate plans A and B, all of Lake County would join Senate District 30, which is currently represented by Lynn Findley. Under Senate plan A, southern Klamath County, south of Klamath Falls, and western Klamath County would also be in Senate District 30. Under Senate plan C, Lake County would be entirely in Senate District 28, which is currently represented by Dennis Linthicum.

Oregon is gaining another seat in the United States Congress and two draft plans were released to draw in the new House seat. Lake County would remain in the Second Congressional District represented by Cliff Bentz. The new Congressional District would be in the Willamette Valley area. Under House plan A, Bend would be in the Third Congressional District. Under House plan B, Bend would remain in the Second Congressional District.

A series of public virtual meetings will give Oregon residents a chance to voice their opinions about the proposed maps. The meetings will commence Wednesday, Sept. 8, with the Second Congressional District being held at 1 p.m. and a statewide meeting on Monday, Sept. 13, at 5:30 p.m. The Oregon Legislature has until Saturday, Sept. 25 to approve the new boundaries and if it is unable to reach an agreement then the map redrawing will go to the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office and the People’s Commission on Redistricting.

For more information and to view the maps visit https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021I1/Committees/HRED/Overview.

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