HJR 45
Background and Procedural Information

H.J.R. 45 was introduced on March 12, 2008 by Democrat Representative Simpson. One of the goals of the legislation is to modify congressional and legislative apportionment and districting.

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

Yes. Under the legislation, districts are to be divided into equally proportioned single-member districts.  

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?

Yes. The legislation impliedly provides for Voting Rights Act compliance by stating that districts shall be compact, contiguous, not use voter history data, and shall comply with federal law.  

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The legislation is unclear on the formation of the redistricting commission, however, the commission consists of either eight electors or nine members, four of whom are 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. The legislation also provides that two members shall be selected by the majority leader of the legislature, two members by the minority leader of the legislature, and the last member shall be selected by the other eight commissioners.  Additionally, the Secretary of State of Michigan shall serve as the secretary of the commission.
Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Although not specifically provided for, the legislation states that districts may not favor a particular political party or incumbent legislator.  

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?

No, however, the commission may hold public hearings on the redistricting plans, and the public has at least 30-days in which it can comment on the plan prior to its adoption.  

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

No. The legislation states that the federal decennial census must be used for reapportionment.

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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