HB 741

HB 741

Background and procedural information:
Providing a process for establishing districts for the election of members of Congress; establishing criteria for creating districts; directing the Department of Legislative Services to hold public hearings and develop up to three congressional districting plans; establishing a temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission and specifying members' qualifications and the duties of the Commission; directing the General Assembly to act on the plan or plans within specified times; etc.

Under the proposed legislation, are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?
Yes. No districts may be drawn for the purpose of diluting minority voting strength, but no use may be made of political affiliation, registration, polling data, etc. to achieve that purpose.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?
9 members, 4 appointed by the governor, 2 by the president of the senate, 2 by speaker of the house; at least 3 must be of the minority party. These members then elect a chair. Members may not have been a member of the general assembly, congress, a candidate for either, an appointed official, campaign manager, or lobbyist. Members must also reflect the geographic, gender and racial or ethnic diversity of the state.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
Members of the public are encouraged to give input at a series of public meetings and critique the proposed plans, however nowhere does the bill state that a member of the public may produce his own plan.

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

November 19th 2005
Redistricting reform: How best to tackle ultra-safe districts
Sacramento Bee

FairVote's Rob Richie argues in commentary running in several newspapers that redistricting reformers must challenge winner-take-all elections.

November 16th 2005
In Canada, regular folks are put to work on reforms
San Jose Mercury News

Steven Hill prescribes a citizens assembly as a solution for achieving consensus on redistricting reform in California.

November 15th 2005
Citizens Must Drive Electoral Reform
Roll Call

Heather Gerken of Harvard Law suggests a citizens assembly as one means to achieve redistricting reform and buy-in from voters.

November 13th 2005
Arnold had the right idea about redistricting
The Herald News

The Herald News cites Fairvote with commentary about the dangers of Gerrmandering and redistricting obstacles.

November 13th 2005
ARNOLD AGONIZES: How the election changed the governor -- and California
San Francisco Chronicle

Article discussing the recent failure of redistricting reform in California and the potential solution in letting the citizens decide through a Citizens Assembly on Election Reform.

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