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.”
October 23rd 2005
Who Should Redistrict?

The New York Times Magazine explains the dilemmas many states, including California, face as they attempt to create competitive and fair congressional districts. Dean Murphy cites FairVote's statistics.

October 15th 2005
Wamp fresh leadership for sagging Republicans
The Tennessean

According to FairVote's Ryan O'Donnell, the Republican party should seize the opportunity to embrace electoral reforms, and take the lead on ending gerrymandering.

October 5th 2005
Mapping the way to a better system
Boston Herald

Why Massachusetts should turn a critical eye towards gerrymandering. This article mentions Fairvote.

October 2nd 2005
Several states may change redistricting process
L.A. Times

Discussion of redistricting practices in California, Massachusetts and Florida. Mentions Tanner's bill.

September 25th 2005
Local GOP breaks with governor to oppose redistricting
Auburn Journal

An article about the debate over a proposal that would give a panel of judges the responsibility of redistricting

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