The state senate committee voted to advance the Blackbird redistricting proposal to the full legislature when it meets in a special session Nov. 8.

proposed legislative District 17

The area in purple is the proposed legislative District 17, which splits Union County and joins the southern half to Clay County.

The proposal will split Union County, with the southern part attached to part of Clay County, including the city of Vermillion.

State Senator Jim Bolin, who was a member of the committee, had proposed a plan which would have left the district basically the same, with all of Union County in District 16.

Blackbird was sponsored by Senator Casey Crabtree of Madison.

Other committee members voting to approve were Michael Diedrich (Rapid City), Helene Duhamel (Rapid City), Mary Duvall (Pierre), Kyle Schoenfish (Scotland). Along with Bolin, Troy Heinert of Mission also voted no.

“I will not vote for any plan that will split Union County,” Bolin said. “I will be doing everything I can, as aggressively as I can, to keep the county intact.

“I did not go to Pierre to approve the political amputation of Union County,” Bolin said.

The house committee will reconvene on Friday, Oct. 29 to consider a separate redistricting proposal that keeps Union County intact.

See page 12 (of this week's Leader-Courier) for more information.