POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Tentative deal reached on anti-gerrymandering initiative

Feb 26, 2020, 3:54 PM | Updated: 3:55 pm
Gerrymandering Utah Prop 4...
Utah lawmakers and Better Boundaries Utah say they have reached a deal "in principal" on Proposition 4, also known as the anti-gerrymandering initiative. (File image)
(File image)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah lawmakers and anti-gerrymandering proponents say they have reached a deal “in principle” on Proposition 4, also known as the anti-gerrymandering initiative.

But neither side will give details on the deal until Thursday.

Prop 4 sets up an independent commission to draw Congressional, legislative, and school board district lines.

Negotiations broke down last week between lawmakers and Better Boundaries Utah, who spearheaded the voter-approved initiative. One concern involved whether the commission would be banned from drawing the lines based on “partisan symmetry” and “incumbent protection”.

Senator Gene Davis (D-Salt Lake City) was part of this weekend’s negotiations. He’s happy where everything is now.

“The negotiations…it hasn’t been one-handed or heavy-handed. It’s been a give and take. And that’s the reason it’s taken over a year to put this together is to make sure that people are happy with where we’re going, what we’re going to do, and how it’s going to come out,” Davis said during a news conference at the Utah State Capitol.

Senate President Stuart Adams (R-Layton) is also optimistic.

“I think we’re landing at a pretty good spot. Hopefully…those that actually crafted the initiative…they’ll be supportive of it,” Adams said.

Some Republican lawmakers had wanted to scrap Prop 4 altogether when negotiations broke down, but party leaders said they remained committed to working out any issues.

Related reading:

Future of gerrymandering reform bill is unknown, proponents say

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Tentative deal reached on anti-gerrymandering initiative