HB 3700
Background and Procedural Information

On March 3, 2008 Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor member Bill Hilty introduced Minnesota House Bill 3700 (MN H.B. 3700).  As of June 6, 2008 it has not moved out of committee.  The bill would create an independent redistricting commission responsible for redistricting the Minnesota Legislature and Congress. 

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

Yes.  Single-Member districts are required.

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

Yes.  The commission is required to respect state and federal constitutional and statutory law, including those laws related to the Voting Rights Act and minority representation.   There are no restrictions on the use of voter history information of other political data.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The commission is composed of retired appellate or district court judges that served in Minnesota and never held a party designated or endorsed position.  The Senate Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, House Speaker, and House Minority Leader will each appoint one commissioner.  These four commissioners will appoint a final commissioner who will serve as chair of the commission.  The Commission will present a plan, which cannot be modified, to the Minnesota legislature.  The Legislature may reject the plan and submit it to the commission with listed objections.  If rejected, the commission will submit a new plan, which cannot be modified, to the legislature.  The legislature may reject the plan and submit it to the commission with listed objections.  If this plan is rejected, then the commission will submit a third plan that the legislature may accept, reject, or modify.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Yes.  The districts must be created to encourage political competition.  

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

No.  The public may not submit plans, make suggestions, or attend hearings. 

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

No.  The bill states, “Once a valid redistricting plan for legislative or congressional districts has been enacted or adopted an used in a state general election, no changes to that plan may be enacted or adopted during the remainder of that decade.”
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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