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The latest Montana politics, elections and Legislature news.

Commission Sets Timeline For Drawing Montana’s Congressional Districts

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U.S. Census data released earlier this year revealed Montana’s population has grown enough to gain a second seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Last week the Bureau published more granular data on Montana’s demographic changes. That information will be used to delineate the boundaries of the state’s two new future districts. The officials in charge of that job met Tuesday to establish an official timeline.

The clock is now officially ticking on the commission charged with developing Montana’s new congressional and legislative map.

Joe Lamson is a Democratic appointee to the state’s Districting and Apportionment Commission.

“I’d just like to congratulate all of Montana on what a historic day this is. This is the first time in forty years that we will now embark on drawing a second congressional district for the state of Montana,” Lamson says.

That new map must be selected within 90 days.

Commission members established a timeline Tuesday to meet that deadline.

Some key dates: October 5th the commission will select the maps to go before the public. A hearing on those selections will be held October 19th. The commission is scheduled to select a tentative final map by October 21st, with a public hearing on that choice about a week later.

The final selection must be made before midnight November 14th.

The commission has a lot of decisions to make between now and then, including how Montana’s incarcerated population will be counted.

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