Redistricting info

 

To the editor, 

 

Every ten years, following the federal population census, Article V of the Montana Constitution requires the formation of a Districting Commission. The data from the census is used to re-appropriate the state into legislative districts based on population. This re-districting has the power to dramatically affect your area of House District 71 and Senate District 36. 

Currently there are five plans being proposed by the Districting Committee: (1) Urban Rural (2) Existing (3) Deviation (4) Subdivision (5) Communities. 

As residents of these areas, here are the key points you need to know: (1) Only one of these plans will keep Madison County unchanged (2) Four of the plans remove Whitehall, parts of Cardwell, and Pipestone from HD71/SD36 and place them within the Butte district. (3) Four plans call for Madison County to be split at least once by removing parts of Twin Bridges and Sheridan and placing them into Beaverhead County. (4) Two plans redistrict Madison County/Big Sky into Gallatin County. (5) After loosing those population bases, HD71 / SD36 will regain numbers by adding Willow Creek and West Yellowstone.  

I firmly believe that none of the proposed plans will benefit HD71/SD36. I oppose splitting Madison County in any way, and I am not in support of redistricting Whitehall into the Butte legislative district. Madison County should be left whole and the Whitehall area should remain in an area where shared values already exist (farming, ranching, mining, recreational tourism, etc). 

Join me in raising your voice; public comments will play a vital role in the development of your future representation.   Now is the time to comment, the commission is open to hearing all options.  We need individuals and County Commissioners to comment.  The Jefferson County Commissioners, have submitted a proposal that best addresses their area, ideally Madison & Beaverhead County Commissioners will also present an option. 

The Districting Commission will meet for one week beginning August 13th. If we do not voice our concerns about the re-districting, our area will change completely. Please send your letters to the Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission, Legislative Services Division,

PO Box 201706, Helena, MT 59620-1706; by email to districting@mt.gov, or by fax to 406-444-3036.  

For more information visit: http://leg.mt.gov/districting

 

Kim Miller

Virginia City