HCR 5036

KS H.C.R. 5036, introduced in the 2006 session.

Background and procedural information:
A redistricting commission shall be established to recommend to the legislature redistricting plans for Kansas house of representatives districts, Kansas senate districts, state board of education districts and United States congress districts.

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. The commission must consider protection of voting rights of racial, ethnic and language minority groups as required by law, and may not divide cities unless required to protect the voting rights of such groups. The bill also contains provisions prohibiting the use of political data, unless needed to comply with federal law.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?
The redistricting commission shall consist of five members who shall be retired judges of the Kansas court of appeals or retired justices of the Kansas Supreme Court. The president of the Kansas senate, the minority leader of the Kansas senate, the speaker of the Kansas House of Representatives and the minority leader of the Kansas House of Representatives shall appoint one member each. The commission creates the plans, the legislature votes on them.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?
Neutral; the redistricting commission shall consider the following, in descending order from highest to lowest priority: Equality of population as required by law; protection of voting rights of racial, ethnic and language minority groups as required by law; preservation of political subdivisions; contiguity and compactness of districts; and avoidance of placing more than one incumbent in a district.

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

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

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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