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Wash. Redistricting Commission At Impasse Over Latino Population

The panel has a January 1st deadline.]

Washington's Latino population grew by 70 percent between 2000 and 2010. But commissioners are split over how to reflect that change in the legislative map -– particularly in the Yakima Valley.

"What is on the table here is one district that is a higher percentage Hispanic and minority or two districts that are a little bit lower Hispanic percentages," says Dean Foster, the Democrat who's been working on the map. "Maybe not even 50 percent."

Foster and his Republican colleague Tom Huff agree on the concept of making a largely Hispanic legislative district, but Huff says they haven't been able to agree on the details.

"I'm pro-Hispanic," Huff says. "My history indicates that, my record indicates that, and my maps indicate that."

Meanwhile, the commission is also working on Washington's new Congressional map. A bipartisan proposal would create a district that would cover a largely minority population between Seattle and Tacoma.

It also puts a new 10th Congressional district squarely over Olympia.

On the Web:

Washington State Redistricting Commission:

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network

Inland Northwest Correspondent Jessica Robinson reports from the Northwest News Network's bureau in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. From the politics of wolves to mining regulation to small town gay rights movements, Jessica covers the economic, demographic and environmental trends that are shaping places east of the Cascades.