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Legislative Redistricting Committee stays at 47 districts -- for now

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The Legislature’s Redistricting Committee has decided to work on redrawing district lines based on the current 47 districts.

But that isn’t set in stone.

Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks) made the motion to keep things at 47, for the moment.

"You know all the arguments," Holmberg told the Committee. "Growing government, not growing government, increasing access to Legislators."

Holmberg also said South Dakota has 35 districts.

"They're bigger than us," Holmberg said.

Other Committee members worried that other plans would not be considered by the Committee. Sen. Jerry Klein (R-Fessenden) is in a rural district that lost population, and will likely be larger if the number stays at 47."

"I think we (Legislators) are very close to our people," Klein said. "I hate to see it diluted any more. I just don't want to slam the door."

The Committee chairman – Rep. Bill Devlin (R-Finley) – said the 47 is being used for “planning purposes.”

"That's what people are working on," Devlin said. "But if somebody comes up with a concept different than that, they should always be welcome to present it."

The committee plans to hold another 7 meetings before a plan is to be presented to a special Legislative session this fall.

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