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.”
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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