Oregon & Idaho legislators meet on the Greater Idaho movement

Baker City – To discuss potential next steps for the Greater Idaho movement, a member of the Oregon House of Representatives, Vikki Breese-Iverson met with her Idaho counterparts, Rep. Judy Boyle (R-Washington County) and Rep. Barbara Ehardt (R-Idaho Falls) on Oct. 19 in Baker City, Ore.

Malheur County Commissioner Ron Jacobs was in attendance, along with leaders of the Greater Idaho movement. Rep. Breese-Iverson (R-Prineville) recently chose to step down from being the leader of the Republican caucus of the Oregon House.

“The Idaho House has already stated that we are ready to have discussions with the Oregon Legislature on how to advance freedom for eastern Oregonians,” Rep. Boyle said.

The Idaho Hou se of Representatives passed a resolution in February stating as much. The meeting in Baker City was the first meeting pursuant to that invitation.

Mike McCarter, the leader of the movement, said “we thank Rep. Breese-Iverson for participating in the conversation.”

“Over the last three years, the Greater Idaho movement has won in 12 of the 12 eastern Oregon counties that have voted on this issue. As a state representative, I have a duty and responsibility to have conversations that could potentially better my constituents,” Rep. Iverson said. “It is clear: people in central and eastern Oregon do not align with all the values of those in Portland and Eugene. Is Greater Idaho the answer? I am not sure, but I am willing to turn over all the rocks possible for the land and people I love.”

The ultimate goal of the Greater Idaho movement is to relocate the Oregon/Idaho state line to allow conservative, rural eastern Oregon to become a part of Idaho. Currently, the movement is asking state legislatures to have formal discussions that could later lead to an actual timeline and bill to send to Congress for ratification.

According to those leading the movement, they believe western Oregon leaders should want to let eastern Oregon join Idaho because it would benefit Oregon’s state budget, and because eastern Oregon’s state senators came close to blocking votes in the Oregon Senate permanently.

McCarter, wrote that moving the state line would be good for the income taxes of both states.

“Portland metro incomes are so high that any middle-income county that departs the Oregon state budget increases the average income of both Oregon and Idaho,” he said.

For more information, visit greateridaho.org.