LOCAL NEWS

Utah Legislature passes new congressional map

Nov 10, 2021, 11:47 AM | Updated: Mar 18, 2022, 9:39 am

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Legislature has passed a bill designating the state’s new congressional districts.

The Senate approved HB2004 Wednesday morning by a 21-7 vote, and the bill moves to Gov. Spencer Cox’s desk for his signature or veto.

Cox said he has no intention of vetoing the bill during a town hall meeting Tuesday night. He added if Utahns don’t like the maps, they should “elect people that have the same interests that (they) do.”

The House approved the map by a 50-22 vote on Tuesday.

Democratic Sen. Jani Iwamoto said Millcreek’s mayor told her the city will become “the new four corners area” of Utah’s congressional districts, and Democratic Sen. Derek Kitchen called the map “shameless political gerrymandering” and “anti-democratic.”

The map, which was developed by the Legislative Redistricting Committee and not the Independent Redistricting Commission, which was created after Utahns approved a ballot initiative in 2018, was met with heated opposition during a committee meeting on Tuesday.

Lawmakers heard more than 100 public comments during that meeting, with most comments critical of the maps.

The group Better Boundaries said the maps created by the Republican-controlled committee were heavily gerrymandered and that it will consider legal and legislative options to get the maps repealed and replaced. 

“We are extremely disappointed the Legislative Redistricting Committee decided to forward maps that don’t meet what Utahns want, which is keeping Utah’s cities and counties intact and keeping politics out of redistricting,” said Katie Wright from Better Boundaries. 

They urged lawmakers to instead approve maps put forward by the Independent Redistricting Commission.  

House Speaker Brad Wilson said they are selecting maps that best serve the state, while Democrats said they will do what they can to change them. 

Minority Leader Brian King said, “It’s bad enough that we have Salt Lake County cut three ways currently. Under the new map, it’s going to be cut four ways and there’s just no good reason for that.” 

Democratic Rep. Andrew Stoddard agreed, “You could keep Salt Lake City whole. You can keep most counties in the state whole or with very minimal splits, and this map doesn’t do that.” 

Wilson was adamant that it was not possible.

“You literally cannot create four congressional districts and not divide up counties. You can’t do it,” he said.

Utah Senate Democrats released a statement about the Congressional Boundaries Designation:

Representation must be close to and created by and for the people. The Legislature’s passage of H.B. 2004 blatantly silences the voices of Utahns through Congressional boundaries that unacceptably divide and crack our communities. Addressing the state’s complex social and economic issues and bringing our voice to Washington DC—with representation from both our rural and urban centers—will not be realized with these imbalanced boundaries, and the people of Utah deserved better today.

As Democrats, we stand for fair, transparent boundaries and made several attempts to uphold Congressional proposals submitted by the Independent Redistricting Commission. The Congressional map that passed the Legislature’s is an unacceptable abuse of power that did not include all voices nor meaningful input from the public. This discourages participation in democracy and in the legislative process. We are disheartened by the Congressional map and stand with the people of Utah.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

A 36-year-old man is accused of threatening police with a gun in downtown Salt lake City on Feb. 28...

Mary Culbertson

Man accused of threatening police with gun in downtown Salt Lake

A man is accused of threatening police with a gun in downtown Salt Lake City.

4 minutes ago

Huntsman Mental Health Institutes building...

Shelby Lofton

How to find a legitimate and qualified mental health professional

A bill that would have regulated life coaching in Utah has hit a wall, and that has experts concerned for families seeking help.

6 minutes ago

Two workers at Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison are credited with helping first responders wh...

Alex Cabrero

2 Utah Department of Corrections workers credited for helping during medical emergencies

Two workers with the Utah Department of Corrections in Gunnison were in the right place at the right time. After stopping to help an 85-year-old woman whose vehicle had gone off the road, John Martinez and Mike Jennings found themselves in a different situation when a responding EMT had a medical emergency on scene.

12 minutes ago

FILE PHOTO...

Michael Houck

Shooting near Naples Elementary School forces lockdown, two victims hospitalized

A man and a woman were shot in a home in Naples, forcing the nearby Naples Elementary School to lockdown Wednesday afternoon.

38 minutes ago

A West Jordan nanny is behind bars, accused of seriously injuring a baby....

Garna Mejia

West Jordan woman arrested, accused of seriously injuring the baby she nannied

A West Jordan nanny is behind bars, accused of seriously injuring a baby.

59 minutes ago

The Department of Cultural and Community Engagement's STEM for Milo + Friends....

Debbie Worthen

Utah STEM program aims to help parents prepare children for success with conversation cards

When it comes to preparing your child for kindergarten, there is one score that experts now say can determine all kinds of life success, and it's not reading. It's math.

1 hour ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Utah Legislature passes new congressional map