Public hearing on bill to end prison gerrymandering in Oregon
by Aleks Kajstura, March 7, 2013
Prison gerrymandering was addressed at an Oregon House Committee on Rules public hearing [audio .ram file] on Monday. The hearing covered two bills and a constitutional amendment that together would establish a redistricting commission. One of the bills, HB 2686, would also end prison gerrymandering in the state. HB2868 was introduced with bi-partisan sponsorship by Representatives Berger and Bailey.
The City Club of Portland testified in support of the bill. The legislation follows the recommendations of the Club’s report analyzing Oregon’s redistricting process [PDF], as well as Common Cause Oregon’s report, both released last year. The reports critique the way prison populations were handled in redistricting, and the City Club’s report specifically called for that session’s legislation to end prison gerrymandering (SB 720) to be considered again this session. SB 720 is back for consideration this year as SB 516, sponsored by the committee on General Government, Consumer And Small Business Protection.