According to him, it wouldn’t just be conservative Oregonians who should want this border change to happen; there would be benefits for Idahoans too. These benefits include more state tax money, access to the International Port of Coos Bay, new industries and the chance to “alleviate future overcrowding” in Idaho. It would also put the border of Oregon and its more liberal laws further from the population of Boise.

Sally Krutzig

Idaho Falls Post Register

Legislative committees consider Move Oregon’s Border movement

BOISE — On Monday, the Move Oregon’s Border for a Greater Idaho organization spoke to a joint House and Senate committee about its desire to have part of Oregon join Idaho. It would make Idaho the third largest state in the country. This invitation to present to Idaho legislators in an official capacity may have been the movement’s biggest win so far in terms of gaining legitimacy.

Rep. Barbara Ehardt, R-Idaho Falls, was the driving force in making the meeting possible. Ehardt is the chairwoman of the Environment, Energy and Technology Committee. She also gives credit to Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, her Senate counterpart who serves as chairman of the Senate Resources and Environment Committee, for helping set up the event.

“Why not have the conversation? It’s an intriguing idea. There absolutely are benefits to the idea. It’s not necessarily something that would happen right away. Oregon, and I dare say Washington and even California, is pushing forward to try to make this happen and get the support for this move. And as Idahoans, I think we should do our part to at least have the conversation,” Ehardt said.

The address consisted of a PowerPoint presentation to the two environment committees followed by a round of questions and answers from legislators. Move Oregon’s two presenters were the organization’s founder Mike McCarter and Mark Simmons, a Republican former speaker of the Oregon House who has become another leader of the movement.

The movement to have part of southern and eastern Oregon break off to join the state of Idaho is driven by politics.

“The boundary between Oregon and Idaho is outdated because it doesn’t match the cultural boundary between urban communities who like Portland’s leadership and rural communities that are traditional, family-oriented, self-reliant,” McCarter’s presentation stated.

According to him, it wouldn’t just be conservative Oregonians who should want this border change to happen; there would be benefits for Idahoans too. These benefits include more state tax money, access to the International Port of Coos Bay, new industries and the chance to “alleviate future overcrowding” in Idaho. It would also put the border of Oregon and its more liberal laws further from the population of Boise.

“Northwestern Oregonians voted to decriminalize hard drugs statewide. It’s time to push the Oregon border five hours away, not 51 minutes away from Boise,” McCarter’s presentation stated.

However, the biggest argument was a “moral” one. According to one of his presentation, “Idaho would have the satisfaction of freeing 1.2 million people from immoral blue state laws.”

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