Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed the state’s redistricting bills Monday, hours before a deadline that would’ve taken the process out of the legislature’s hands and making Oregon the first state with a new congressional map after the 2020 Census.
The new congressional map is a compromise that’s expected to create four Democratic-leaning seats, one Republican-leaning seat and one more competitive seat. An earlier proposal would’ve made that sixth district more Democratic as well.
“For the first time in forty years, Oregon is gaining a congressional seat – another delegation member to advocate for the common good of all Oregonians,” Brown, a Democrat, said in a statement. “After the past year and a half, during which Oregonians have faced unprecedented challenges that have urgently required federal attention and resources, I am particularly grateful that the Legislature has come together to pass today’s historic legislation.”
The new maps cap a dramatic few weeks in Oregon’s capitol. Earlier this month, Democratic House Speaker Tina Kotek backed out of a deal to give the Republican minority more of a say in redistricting in exchange for an end to the party’s delay tactics in other areas.
Republicans blocked a planned House vote on Saturday but returned on Monday, allowing the congressional map to pass along party lines. As Oregon Public Broadcasting reported, some Republicans returned over concerns of what the state legislative map would’ve looked like if the they had missed the deadline and allowed the power to draw that map to pass to Democratic Secretary of State Shemia Fagan.
In April, the Census Bureau released data from their once-in-a-decade survey that showed the US population topped 331 million people, marking the country’s second slowest population growth rate in US history. Data from the survey is also used to reallocate congressional districts and dictates which states would gain and lose seats in Congress.
Oregon gained one seat, along with Florida, North Carolina, Colorado, and Montana. New York, California, West Virginia, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan will lose congressional seats ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
CNN’s Ethan Cohen and Dan Merica contributed to this report.