On February 14, 2022, the House and Senate began the 66th legislative budget session focused on budget development, local government funding, appropriation of American Rescue Act funds, construction proposals fixed assets and legislative redistricting.
Although the budget is a primary issue to debate, the Cowboy state redistricting is on everyone’s mind.
The need for redistricting comes from the results of the 2020 census. Under the Wyoming Constitution, the legislature is required to redraw the state’s legislative districts before the first budget session following the U.S. census to reflect changes in the population of the state.
Although Wyoming has had one of the slowest growth rates in the nation (2.3% growth in Wyoming’s resident population from 2010 to 2020 was slower than increases in all neighboring states, ranging from 18.4% in Utah to a national average of 7.4% in Nebraska), Wyoming’s population has grown by more than 13,000 over the past decade.
While appearing on Sheridan Media’s Public Pulse, Rep. Mark Kinner, R-Sheridan, told listeners the process was “one person, one vote.”
Due to population increases throughout the state, including House District 51, represented by Rep. Cyrus Western, R – Big Horn, the Legislature will redraw the boundaries to achieve a diversion.
Rep. of District 40 of House Barry Crago, R – Buffalo.
But it’s how those numbers will shift that concerns so many in Sheridan and Johnson counties.
A bill drafted by the Joint Committee on Corporations, Elections, and Political Subdivisions proposed to add two House districts and one Senate district. The “62-31” redistricting map would affect Sheridan and Johnson counties by placing Arvada-Clearmont in a district of Campbell County.
Commissioners from both counties sent a letter to the committee sharing “serious concerns”. Specifically, disenfranchising residents of Arvada-Clearmont by locating them in a majority district of Campbell County and creating up to 15 divided precincts for legislative representation.
See the full letter to the Joint Committee on Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions of Sheridan and Johnson County Commissioners, here. Find HB 0100 here.
Floyd Whiting, originally from Wyoming, has worked in both broadcasting and print media. Raised in Auburn Wyoming, Floyd strives to bring a clear understanding of issues and news that are important to the residents of Wyoming.