Redistricting bills move unanimously through Legislature

Published: Thursday, Jan. 26 2012 6:27 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — Three bills adjusting Utah's electoral district boundaries for the next 10 years took one more step to becoming law Thursday as they unanimously passed the Utah House and Senate.

HB286 that re-aligns the state legislative House districts to conform with population shifts recorded by the 2010 U.S. Census passed 73-0.

And HB287 that re-aligns State Board of Education electoral districts passed the House 70-0.

The Senate also passed SB125 26-0 Thursday that re-aligns its election district boundaries.

The bills are in response to county clerks who found problems with the boundaries of legislative and state school board districts approved the Legislature in October. The boundaries were redrawn to adjust to the 2010 census population changes.

Rep. Kenneth Sumsion, the sponsor of the two House bills, requested that they be moved to the front of the line for a House vote to make sure they're done in time to satisfy statutory requirements.

Sumsion noted that several amendments had been made to the bills that made slight changes to electoral district maps to eliminate extremely small precincts and to simplify some boundaries.

The bills now move to the opposite house of the Legislature for approval. Once passed and signed into law, the new districts will go into effect for the 2012 elections. 

Rep. Craig Frank, R-Pleasant Grove, who lost his House seat in 2011 due to a technical mapping error, but was reappointed Jan. 20 when his successor stepped down, noted, "Having just joined the Legislature, having witnessed the redistricting process through the last year ... I support these changes. I checked every one of them in District 57, my district, and I support every one of them."

Ladd Brubaker

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