Background and Procedural Information

On December 4, 2006 Assemblymember Curren Price and Fabian Nunez introduced California Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1(CA A.C.A. 1). As of July 22, 2008 the Bill has not advanced out of a California Assembly Committee.  

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

Single-member districts are a requirement for the State Assembly, Senate, Congress, and Board of Equalization.

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

Yes.  Voter history and registration and other relevant data may be considered in order to meet compliance.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The Constitutional Amendment would give California redistricting authority to an expanded version of the Milton Marks “Little Hoover” Commission.  The Little Hoover Commission is an already existing bi-partisan committee that serves the California State Government Organization and Economy.  It has nine public members and four legislative members.  The nine public members are composed of four members of the largest party of California, four members from the second largest political party in California, one member appointed by the governor who is not a member of either of the two largest parties.

The public members of the Little Hoover Commission would then appoint two additional members not belonging to the two largest political parties.  This enlarged commission would make redistricting decisions.  Approving a final map would require eight yes vote, with 3 yes votes coming from each of the members of the two largest political parties.
Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

No. Competitive Districts are not favored.   

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

No.  Members of the public can participate in several public forums.  After the commission proposes and distributes the initial plan and maps then the public has 30 days to comment.

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

The plan does not allow for the expenditure of funds after the final redistricting plan is adopted.  This would appear to limit any attempts to implement a 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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