SJR A

S.J.R. A: Introduced February 7, 2007 by Senator Switalski, and referred to the Committee on Government Operations and Reform: A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the state constitution of 1963, by amending sections 2, 3, and 6 of article IV, to modify congressional and legislative apportionment and districting.

Under the proposed legislation, are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?
Yes. The bill keeps intact single member district requirements enshrined in the state constitution. Moreover, counties entitled to two or more senators shall be divided into single member districts.

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?
Yes. The amendment prohibits the drawing of districts to dilute the voting strength of racial and ethnic minorities but it also prohibits the use of political data in the redistricting process.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?
Nine members shall be selected by the state organizations of each of the two political parties whose candidates for governor received the highest vote at the last general election at which a governor was elected, preceding each apportionment. If a candidate for governor of a third political party has received at such election more than 25 percent of such gubernatorial vote, the commission shall consist of 12 members, four of whom shall be selected by the state organization of the third political party. The House Speaker, the House Minority Leader, the Senate President, and the Senate Minority Leader shall each appoint one member, and the committee will choose the last member.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?
Neutral.

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
No.

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?
No.

 
June 18th 2006
Where politicians dare to tread
San Francisco Chronicle

The San Francisco Chronicle editorial board endorses the British Columbia Citizens Assembly approach to electoral reform, specifically noting the potential for proportional representation in California.

March 21st 2006
Real redistricting reform is proportional representation
San Francisco Examiner

Rob Dickinson of Californians for Electoral Reform writes a commentary on how recent proposals to make the redistricting process fairer miss the mark. For real progress in how we elect our representatives, we need to turn to proportional voting.

March 1st 2006
Tanner redistricting bill gains Senate sponsor
The Hill

Senator Tim Johnson introduced a companion bill to Rep. John Tanner's federal redistricting reform legislation. The identical bills, supported by FairVote, would set up state commissions to handle redistricting only once a decade.

December 20th 2005
Overhaul of state electoral system sought

Following on the heels of the defeat of redistricting reform in California, Republican and Democratic legislators plan on introducing legislation to create a citizens assembly for election reform and discuss proportional voting for the state.

December 11th 2005
A Dramatic Idea for Election Reform
New York Times

A Times reader highlights the fundamental weakness of any single-member district-based system: gerrymandering is unavoidable.

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