PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — During a meeting in Baker City last week, Oregon and Idaho representatives discussed the future of the Greater Idaho movement.
The movement is spearheaded by rural Oregonians who say they want the Oregon-Idaho border to be moved westward so they can become residents of the Republican-leaning state of Idaho, rather than Oregon — a state that has been led by Democrats since 1987.
So far, 12 counties in Eastern Oregon have voted in favor of relocating the state lines. Last Thursday’s meeting was held in Malheur County, which voted in support of the measure in 2021.
Oregon Rep. Vikki Breese-Iverson was the only state legislator in attendance.
Rep. Breese-Iverson told KOIN 6 that most of the comments that she’s received on Greater Idaho have come from people who are glad to see her having discussions on the movement.
“Greater Idaho was born out of frustration,” Breese-Iverson, who resigned as House minority leader just last month, said in a statement. “I share that frustration when it comes to Oregon politics and structure.”
Idaho Rep. Barbara Ehardt attended last week’s meeting as well. She told KOIN 6 that a large portion of Eastern Oregon residents have asked legislators to have these discussions.
“We should at least engage in more dialogue,” Ehardt wrote in a statement. “This could be a WIN / WIN for both states. Let’s at least have the conversations — now with more Oregon legislators — and see what happens.”
Idaho Rep. Judy Boyle was also at Thursday’s meeting. Boyle didn’t respond to the request for comment, but according to Greater Idaho spokespeople, the legislator and her colleagues have already expressed their support for discussions on the movement.
In February, the Idaho House of Representatives passed the bill that authorized their lawmakers to start conversations with counterparts in Oregon.
Greater Idaho supporters say the move would improve income taxes for both states and help Eastern Oregonians ‘maintain rural values.’