HELENA — The commission charged with drawing Montana's legislative districts is adopting a new statewide approach rather than doing it piecemeal by region.
The Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission made the decision Tuesday in hopes of having a proposed map for public review by year's end.
The group has two members chosen by Republicans and two chosen by Democrats. The fifth and deciding member was chosen by the state Supreme Court after the group could not agree on a chairman.
They are charged with drawing 100 new state House districts and 50 state Senate districts using 2010 Census data. The changes take effect for the 2014 elections after legislative approval.
Past efforts have been mired in controversy amid charges that one side or the other hijacked the process and gerrymandered the map.