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Regional News

Idaho lawmakers pledge to continue talks about creating a Greater Idaho

Greater Idaho phase 1 map
Courtesy of GreaterIdaho.org
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This is phase 1 of Citizens for Greater Idaho's proposal to move several rural Oregon counties under the control of the Gem State. Phase 2 also pulls in counties from northern California and southeastern Washington.

It's not clear how much support the proposal has within the Idaho legislature.

The Idaho legislature will reconvene on Thursday to try to wrap up its 2022 session.

One measure introduced on Friday is unlikely to be approved this year, but may be a placeholder to spur future discussions.

House Concurrent Resolution 21 states many Idaho House members are interested in continuing discussions with Oregon residents who want their counties to secede and join their neighbor to the east. It borrows heavily from language listed on the Greater Idaho website and makes a case for some of the benefits rural Oregon counties would bring to Idaho. Those include, international trade through access to the port of Coos Bay, just in case the effort to breach the Lower Snake River dams in Washington is successful.

The resolution has been printed and referred to the House Ways and Means Committee, but is unlikely to become reality. Both the Idaho and Oregon legislatures would need to approve a proposal to move their boundaries, as well as Congress.

The resolution was introduced by Rep. Representative Barbara Ehardt (R-Idaho Falls). It’s not clear how much support she has or whether this is a project pursued by just a few legislators.