After the ballot initiatives to create a medical cannabis program and expand Medicaid were replaced by legislators, voters wonder what the Utah Legislature has in store for Proposition 4, the ballot initiative that establishes an independent redistricting commission.
District 28 Rep. Brian King, a Democrat who represents western Summit County, is on the advisory council for Better Boundaries, the organization behind Prop 4. King says he thinks Prop 4 will be revisited in the future—though probably not before the 2020 general session and not in a special session. King anticipates efforts by both supporters and those opposed to the initiative to tweak it.
“My hope is that there can be some consensus emerge that makes it something that the backers of Prop 4 don't have too much heartburn with—in other words, that it's a minor tweak," King said. "But that's a good example of the legislature having a role and a place to come in and make tweaks to propositions that are passed, that may not dishonor the spirit that the people were trying to convey when they passed the proposition.”
Heber Republican Rep. Tim Quinn considers his own District 54 to be a swing district. It encompasses both Summit County, where most voters cast ballots for Democratic candidates in the 2018 election; and Wasatch County, which voted predominantly Republican. But come 2021, when the redistricting process begins after the 2020 Census, Summit County’s population will likely be large enough to qualify for its own state House district. Quinn says that and Summit County’s political ideology will be important to consider.
“I think that Park City and Summit County deserve a representative of their own," Quinn said. "Whether that comes about, like I said, through the regular, standing legislative process or through Prop 4, I don't know.”
As for Senate District 26, Sen. Ron Winterton, a Republican from Roosevelt, doesn’t have a strong feeling one way or the other on what an independent redistricting commission might recommend. He says legislators are elected to serve their constituents—but as one of the largest districts in the state, Winterton says his constituents’ needs differ greatly.
"You talk Park City, Summit County, and then you talk eastern Utah and their livelihood—they're not together," Winterton said. "I represent five counties."