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Redistricting panel votes on Senate districts

By Associated Press
Published On: Nov 30 2012 02:14:09 PM MST
helena capitol
HELENA, Mont. -

The commission appointed to redraw Montana's legislative map for 2014 is voting on the shape of the state's 50 Senate districts.
    
The redistricting commission Friday heard Republican and Democratic plans to combine the 100 House Districts already decided.
    
The major differences are how to link House districts in northwestern Montana and whether to pair Jefferson County with another rural county or with an urban Butte district.
    
Other areas of contention include a Democratic proposal to link Livingston and Bozeman districts and in which district to place Havre.
    
Commission Chairman Jim Regnier held early votes on the few districts where both Republican and Democratic commissioners agreed, before jumping into the contested areas.
    
The commission will finalize the map early next year, after getting public comment and reaction from the 2013 Legislature.