|S.F. No. 595 - Bipartisan Redistricting Commission|
|Author:||Senator Ann H. Rest|
|Prepared by:||Peter S. Wattson, Senate Counsel (651/296-3812)|
|Date:||January 7, 2008|
The commission would consist of nine members who are eligible voters of the State. The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate would each appoint one member, and the members of the largest opposite political party caucus in each house would each appoint a member. Those four, by unanimous agreement, would appoint the remaining five members. Appointments would be made no later than March 15 in each year ending in one, with any vacancies created by a failure to appoint filled by the Supreme Court.
The commission would have until December 1 of the year ending in one to adopt both plans, which would require the affirmative vote of six of the nine members. Failing that, the plans would have to be drawn by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court would have original jurisdiction over any challenges to a plan drawn by the commission.
Further details on the operation of the commission would be as provided by law.
The proposed amendment would be submitted to the people at the 2008 general election.
The organization and operation of the commission are essentially the same as in the constitutional amendment proposed to the people by Laws 1980, ch. 588.
Unlike this bill, the 1980 proposal included constitutional standards for redistricting plans, including that:
[T]he boundaries of the districts shall follow the boundaries of local governmental units and, wherever practicable, natural and man-made physical boundaries. No apportionment plan shall be drawn for the purpose of favoring any person or political party.
Laws 1980, ch. 588, art. XV, § 2, 1980 Minn. Laws 1062, 1063.
The 1980 proposal also included statutory sections detailing how the commission would operate and appropriations to cover its expenses.
Five constitutional amendments were proposed at the 1980 election and all received a majority of the votes cast on the question, but only an amendment to require spending limits and public disclosure of campaign spending for certain state offices received a majority of those voting at the election. The bipartisan commission and other amendments were defeated.
cc: Peter Brickwedde
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