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Redistricting panel takes statewide listening tour

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 HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- The panel charged with redrawing Montana's legislative
districts is taking a statewide listening tour aimed at fine-tuning the 
latest proposals.
   The Districting and Apportionment Commission holds its fifth meeting for
public comment Wednesday in Helena. The panel has nine more meetings
around the state through the middle of May.
   So far, Democrats on the panel are favoring a plan they helped write. It aims
 to head off criticism that the current districts help Democrats by having large
 population variances.
   Republicans so far seem to favor a few options authored primarily by
legislative staff.
   Joe Lamson is a Democratic appointee to the panel. He says the proposals will
 be altered after the listening tour. The commission will then hash out a final
plan during a weeklong meeting in August.
   AP-WF-03-28-12 2043GMT


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