Saturday, January 28, 2023

Play

A critical number of rural IA nursing homes close; TX lawmakers consider measures to restrict, and expand voting in 2023 Session; and CT groups, and unions call for public-health reforms.

Play

Attorney General announces enforcement actions on ransomware, Democrats discuss border policies, and the FDA is relaxing rules for gay and bisexual men to donate blood.

Play

"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

Montanans Can Follow, Comment on State-Level Redistricting

Play

Wednesday, July 20, 2022   

With congressional districts settled, Montana is now drawing state-level voting maps for its legislative seats.

The deadline for members of the public to submit their own maps for Senate and House seats was last week, to the Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission. The five members of the commission are now drafting their own maps to present to the public.

Ella Smith, program director for Montana Women Vote, said it is important for people to look closely at the commissioners' maps.

"Take a look at your community, your county, your school district," Smith urged. "Pay attention to how you move about your day and how you move about your week, and what sort of makes sense for your community and how you organize yourself, and how your district is drawn."

Smith noted the commissioners will make their maps available to the public on August 2. Then, at meetings in late August and early September, Montanans can comment on the maps.

Smith explained the commission has established standards for map drawing, including mandatory criteria such as making each district as equal in population as possible, and keeping them compact. There are also discretionary or secondary considerations, such as maps not favoring any party, and keeping races competitive. Mapmakers must also keep communities such as tribes intact.

Smith pointed out there was some frustration the congressional map diluted the Native vote, and her group wants to ensure it does not happen with the legislative plan.

"To make sure that Indigenous folks have concentrated political power whenever possible," Smith stressed. "Because that just gives people more of an opportunity to organize in their communities and to make sure that their representatives are being responsive to them."

Unlike many other states where the legislatures draw maps, Montana has an independent redistricting commission. Two members are chosen by Republican leaders, two by Democratic leaders and a chair is chosen by the state Supreme Court.

Smith added the independent commission is largely able to take partisan politics out of the process.

"A lot of people put a lot of thought into having a bipartisan redistricting commission," Smith stated. "There is a strong history of drawing lines with the intention of being as representative as possible."

The deadline for the redistricting plan is the 10th day of the 2023 legislative session.


get more stories like this via email
New data show in California, 2021-22 state testing scores are even lower than the state's historically low testing scores. (Rawpixel/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…


Social Issues

Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …

Social Issues

A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …


From February 2020 to November 2021, the number of workers in nursing homes and other care facilities dropped by 410,000 nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals say low pay and a worker shortage have led a dramatic number of nursing homes in rural Iowa to close their doors. They hope …

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals and advocates in Connecticut have said it will take sweeping reforms to bolster the state's flailing public health system…

In a national survey, Michigan was ranked 27th among the 50 states for its cost, access and quality of long-term care supports and services. California was ranked first. (Flickr)

Social Issues

In her fifth State of the State address this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized policies designed to put more money in Michiganders' pockets…

Social Issues

By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …

Environment

New Mexico residents have two weeks to submit written comments to the Environmental Protection Agency about its proposal to implement stronger standar…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021