SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert signed the remaining redistricting bills following a lengthy and rancorous special session over the political boundaries for Utah's four congressional seats.
In addition to the congressional designations, Herbert signed off on the state Senate boundaries. Political boundaries are redrawn every 10 years following the census. An increase in population gave Utah a new fourth district.
“Redistricting is an emotional and complex issue," Herbert said in a news release Thursday, announcing the bill signings.
Following six months of public hearings, lawmakers convened earlier this month to voted on the Redistricting Committee's recommendations. Boundaries for state House, Senate and Board of Education districts passed quickly, but after three days of political infighting and threats of lawsuits over congressional boundaries, lawmakers broke for more than a week.
Democrats complained about closed door meetings among majority GOP House members. Concerns were also raised about how the congressional map divided Salt Lake County and several cities into different districts.
On Monday, they reconvened to pass legislation determining congressional boundaries with minority Democrats calling foul and mulling over legal action. Three Democrats voted for the map and five Republicans voted against it.
"I find that the Legislature followed the law, and the outcome, although not entirely satisfactory to everyone, is reasonable," Herbert said. "Let us remember, in the final analysis, our representatives are not chosen by lines drawn on a map; they are elected by the people of Utah.”