OLYMPIA - January 9, 2002- Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire informed the state Supreme Court today that legislative leaders have agreed to take action to implement the state's new redistricting plan.
The Redistricting Commission adopted a legislative redistricting plan on Dec. 16, 2001, and a congressional plan on Jan. 1, 2002. Both plans were adopted after a statutory deadline, but within the state constitutional deadline of Jan. 1.
The Commission passed a resolution asking Gregoire to take action to assure implementation of the plan.
Since the plans were both adopted within the constitutional deadline, the Legislature is free to change the statutory deadline to the constitutional date, according to a legal analysis by the Attorney General's office.
In her letter to the Supreme Court, Gregoire said she has consulted with legislative leaders and they have agreed to immediately pursue legislation to address the difference between the statutory and constitutional deadlines.
Gregoire said prompt legislative action is needed to resolve the issue. Otherwise there would be little time for the state Supreme Court's consideration of the redistricting plans. Under the state Constitution, if the Commission fails to approve a redistricting plan by its deadline, the Supreme Court adopts a redistricting plan. Statutory deadlines would require the state Supreme Court to adopt legislative and congressional plans by March 1, 2002.