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SCA-8 Counties: board of supervisors: redistricting. (2015-2016)

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SCA8:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  March 30, 2016
Amended  IN  Senate  September 04, 2015
Amended  IN  Senate  July 09, 2015

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Constitutional Amendment No. 8


Introduced by Senator Mendoza
(Coauthors: Senators Beall, De León, Hueso, McGuire, and Runner)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Alejo, Gonzalez, and Lopez)

May 11, 2015


A resolution to propose to the people of the State of California an amendment to the Constitution of the State, by amending Sections 1 and 4 of, and adding Section 4.5 to, Article XI thereof, relating to counties.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SCA 8, as amended, Mendoza. Counties: board of supervisors: redistricting.
The California Constitution requires that a county charter provide for a governing body of 5 or more members, elected (1) by district or, (2) at large, or (3) at large with a requirement that they reside in a district, and to provide for the compensation, terms, and removal of members of the governing body. The California Constitution also provides that charter counties are subject to statutes that relate to apportioning population of governing body districts. Existing law requires, following each decennial federal census and using that census as a basis, the board of supervisors of a county to adjust the boundaries of any or all of the supervisorial districts of the county so that the districts are as nearly equal in population as may be and comply with applicable provisions of federal law.
Existing law also requires a general law county to have a board of supervisors consisting of 5 members, and requires, except as provided, each member of the board of supervisors to be elected by the district which the member represents.
This measure would, in a charter county that is found at a decennial United States census, beginning with the 2020 United States census, to have a population of more than 2,000,000, 3,000,000, require, and deem the county charter to provide for, a governing body consisting of 7 or more members, not to be thereafter reduced to fewer than 7 members even if, in a future decennial United States census, the county is not a county with a population of more than 2,000,000 3,000,000. The measure would similarly provide that, in such a county, the expenditures for the governing body and its staff may not exceed, for any subsequent fiscal year after the release of the census finding that the county has a population of more than 2,000,000, 3,000,000 the amount that was allocated for the expenses of the governing body and its staff in the county’s adopted budget for the fiscal year in which that same census was conducted, as adjusted each fiscal year thereafter for changes in the California Consumer Price Index. This measure would also extend these same requirements to the governing body of a general law county that is found at a decennial United States census, beginning with the 2020 United States census, to have a population of more than 2,000,000 3,000,000.
This measure would require, on and after January 1, 2021, a county charter to provide for members to be elected by district with a requirement that the member reside in a district, and would impose that requirement on all general law counties.
As described above, the California Constitution requires that a county charter provide for the compensation of members of the governing body. The California Constitution also requires that, if a county charter provides for the Legislature to prescribe the salary of the governing body, the salary be prescribed by the governing body by ordinance.
This bill would repeal that latter provision on January 1, 2021.
This measure would also make other technical, nonsubstantive changes.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

WHEREAS, California’s counties are governed by elected members of a board of supervisors; and
WHEREAS, The number of members of the board of supervisors in most counties has remained unchanged for more than a century despite enormous increases in the county’s population which, in some cases, are greater than the population of individual states in the union; and
WHEREAS, It is a well-recognized principle that residents are more efficiently able to access their representatives for assistance for services and to hold them better accountable when the ratio of residents to each elected representative on a governing body is smaller rather than larger; and
WHEREAS, It is important to restrain the costs of governance by restricting the fiscal impact of any increase in the number of members of any county’s board of supervisors; and
WHEREAS, It is therefore the intent of the people, in adopting this measure, to make all of the following changes with regard to the county board of supervisors in each county having a population of more than 2,000,000 3,000,000 at each decennial United States census:
(a) To increase democratic representation by substantially reducing the population in each supervisorial district;
(b) By establishing smaller supervisorial districts, to provide greater opportunities for public participation in local government that provide safety, health, transportation, and other vital services;
(c) In order to control the size of government, reduce unnecessary expenditures, and increase efficiency through smaller supervisorial districts, to reduce the office budgets currently allocated for each member of the board of supervisors; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate, the Assembly concurring, That the Legislature of the State of California at its 2015–16 Regular Session commencing on the first day of December 2014, two-thirds of the membership of each house concurring, hereby proposes to the people of the State of California, that the Constitution of the State be amended as follows:

First—

 That Section 1 of Article XI thereof is amended to read:

SEC. 1.
 (a) The State is divided into counties which are legal subdivisions of the State. The Legislature shall prescribe uniform procedure for county formation, consolidation, and boundary change. Formation or consolidation requires approval by a majority of electors voting on the question in each affected county. A boundary change requires approval by the governing body of each affected county. No county seat shall be removed unless two-thirds of the qualified electors of the county, voting on the proposition at a general election, shall vote in favor of such removal. A proposition of removal shall not be submitted in the same county more than once in four years.
(b) The Legislature shall provide for county powers, an elected county sheriff, an elected district attorney, an elected assessor, and an elected governing body in each county. Except as provided in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 4 of this article, each governing body shall prescribe by ordinance the compensation of its members, but the ordinance prescribing such compensation shall be subject to referendum. The Legislature or the governing body may provide for other officers whose compensation shall be prescribed by the governing body. The governing body shall provide for the number, compensation, tenure, and appointment of employees.

Second—

 That Section 4 of Article XI thereof is amended to read:

SEC. 4.
 (a) County charters shall provide for:
(1) Except as otherwise provided in Section 4.5, a governing body of five or more members, elected by district, with a requirement that the member reside in a district. Charter counties are subject to statutes that relate to apportioning population of governing body districts.
(2) The compensation, terms, and removal of members of the governing body, subject to Section 4.5.
(3) An elected sheriff, an elected district attorney, an elected assessor, other officers, their election or appointment, compensation, terms and removal.
(4) The performance of functions required by statute.
(5) The powers and duties of governing bodies and all other county officers, and for consolidation and segregation of county officers, and for the manner of filling all vacancies occurring in those offices.
(6) The fixing and regulation by governing bodies, by ordinance, of the appointment and number of assistants, deputies, clerks, attachés, and other persons to be employed, and for the prescribing and regulating by such bodies of the powers, duties, qualifications, and compensation of such persons, the times at which, and terms for which they shall be appointed, and the manner of their appointment and removal.
(7) Whenever any county has framed and adopted a charter, and the charter has been approved by the Legislature as provided in this section, the general laws adopted by the Legislature pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 1 of this article, shall, as to that county, be superseded by that charter as to matters for which, under this section it is competent to make provision in the charter, and for which provision is made in the charter, except as otherwise expressly provided in this section.
(8) Charter counties shall have all the powers that are provided by this Constitution or by statute for counties.
(b) The changes made by the act adding this subdivision shall apply on and after January 1, 2021.

Third—

 That Section 4.5 is added to Article XI thereof, to read:

SEC. 4.5.
 (a) In a charter county that is found at a decennial United States census, beginning with the 2020 United States census, to have a population of more than 2,000,000, 3,000,000 there is required, and the county charter shall be deemed to require, the following:
(1) The governing body shall consist of seven or more members, elected by district, with a requirement that the member reside in a district, and subject to statutes that relate to apportioning the population of governing body districts. The number of members on the governing body shall not thereafter be reduced to fewer than seven members even if, in a future decennial United States census, the county is not a county with a population of more than 2,000,000 3,000,000.
(2) (A) The expenditures for the governing body and its staff shall not exceed, for any subsequent fiscal year after the release of the census finding a population of more than 2,000,000, 3,000,000, the amount that was allocated for the expenses of the governing body and its staff in the county’s adopted budget for the fiscal year in which that same census was conducted, as adjusted each fiscal year thereafter for changes in the California Consumer Price Index.
(B) This expenditure limitation shall continue to apply even if, in a future decennial United States census, the county is not a county with a population of more than 2,000,000 3,000,000.
(b) (1) Each general law county that is found at a decennial United States census, beginning with the 2020 United States census, to have a population of more than 2,000,000 3,000,000, shall have a governing body consisting of seven or more members. Any county described in this subdivision shall be subject to statutes that relate to apportioning the population of governing body districts. The number of members on the governing body shall not thereafter be reduced to fewer than seven members even if, in a future decennial United States census, the county is not a county with a population of more than 2,000,000 3,000,000.
(2) (A) In a general law county that is found at a decennial United States census, beginning with the 2020 United States census, to have a population of more than 2,000,000, 3,000,000, the expenditures for the governing body and its staff shall not exceed, for any subsequent fiscal year after the release of the census finding a population of more than 2,000,000, 3,000,000, the amount that was allocated for the expenses of the governing body and its staff in the county’s adopted budget for the fiscal year in which that same census was conducted, as adjusted each fiscal year thereafter for changes in the California Consumer Price Index.
(B) This expenditure limitation shall continue to apply even if, in a future decennial United States census, the county is not a county with a population of more than 2,000,000 3,000,000.
(3) On and after January 1, 2021, the members of a governing body of a general law county shall be elected by district, and the member shall reside in that district.