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Upcoming legislative session begins Jan. 10

OLYMPIA — The Washington Supreme Court will not get involved in adopting a new redistricting plan for the state.

The court on Dec. 3 issued an order, signed by all nine justices, declining to take on a job that by state law falls to the court as a last resort.

“The plan adopted by the Washington State Redistricting Commission met the constitutional deadline and substantially complied with the statutory deadline to transmit the matter to the legislature,” the court concluded.

The commission, with four party-appointed voting members, came down to its midnight Nov. 15 deadline not quite having completed its submission of maps for state legislative and congressional districts for the next decade — or so it was thought.

The court determined the work done was legally sufficient. 

For Whatcom County, the map of the state 42nd Legislative District is only minimally changed.

However, all of the county returns to the 2nd Congressional District after having been in the 1st District of Rep. Suzan DelBene the past 10 years.

The 2nd encompasses northwest Washington while the 1st had extended all the way to King County and is now more compact to the south.

The 42nd District will have all three of its seats up for election in 2022.

The Dec. 17 death of sitting senator Doug Ericksen has Whatcom Republicans and the Whatcom County Council moving toward nomination and selection of a replacement senator for the upcoming state legislative session, which begins Jan. 10.

And incumbent 42nd representative Sharon Shewmake, a Democrat, has said she will run for the senator spot in the 2022 election.