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AB-1724 Elections: general law city and county redistricting.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/22/2019 09:00 PM
AB1724:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1724


Introduced by Assembly Member Salas

February 22, 2019


An act to amend Section 23000 of, to amend the heading of Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 23000) of Division 21 of, and to add Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 24000) to Division 21 of, the Elections Code, relating to elections.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1724, as introduced, Salas. Elections: general law city and county redistricting.
Existing law authorizes a county, general law city, school district, community college district, or special district to establish an independent redistricting commission, an advisory redistricting commission or a hybrid redistricting commission, as defined, to change the district boundaries for the legislative body of each of those entities or to recommend changes to those district boundaries to the legislative body. Existing constitutional provisions require the establishment of the Citizens Redistricting Commission, and requires that commission to adjust the boundary lines of the congressional, State Senatorial, Assembly, and Board of Equalization districts in the state, as specified.
This bill would declare the intent of the Legislature to require each general law city and county to establish an independent redistricting commission that is modeled after the Citizens Redistricting Commission. The bill would require each of those local jurisdictions to establish an independent redistricting commission for the purpose of adjusting the boundary lines of districts for the legislative body of the local jurisdiction after each federal decennial census. The bill would require the auditor of each local jurisdiction to implement an application process for members to the commission, as specified. By increasing the duties of these local jurisdictions, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 It is the intent of the Legislature to require each general law city and county within the state to establish an independent redistricting commission that is modeled after the Citizens Redistricting Commission described in Article XXI of the California Constitution.

SEC. 2.

 The heading of Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 23000) of Division 21 of the Elections Code is amended to read:
CHAPTER  9. School District, Community College District, and Special District Advisory and Independent Redistricting Commissions

SEC. 3.

 Section 23000 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

23000.
 For purposes of this chapter, the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) “Advisory redistricting commission” means a body that recommends to a legislative body placement of the district boundaries for that legislative body.
(b) “Family member” means a spouse, parent, sibling, child, or in-law.
(c) “Hybrid redistricting commission” means a body that recommends to a legislative body two or more maps for the placement of the district boundaries for that legislative body, where the legislative body must adopt one of those maps without modification, except as may be required to comply with state or federal law.
(d) “Independent redistricting commission” means a body, other than a legislative body, that is empowered to adopt the district boundaries of a legislative body.
(e) “Legislative body” means a county board of supervisors, a city council of a general law city, a governing board of a school district, a governing board of a community college district, or an elected governing board of a special district.
(f) “Local jurisdiction” means a county, general law city, school district, community college district, or special district.
(g) “Redistricting” means either districting or redistricting.
(h) “Spouse” means a spouse or registered domestic partner.

SEC. 4.

 Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 24000) is added to Division 21 of the Elections Code, to read:
CHAPTER  10. City and County Independent Redistricting Commissions

24000.
 (a) Each general law city and county shall establish an independent redistricting commission pursuant to this Chapter for the purpose of adjusting the boundary lines of districts for the legislative body of the general law city or county after each federal decennial census.
(b) For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “Commission” means an independent redistricting commission established pursuant to this chapter.
(2) “Local jurisdiction” means a general law city or county.

24001.
 (a) A commission established pursuant to this chapter shall conduct an open and transparent process enabling full public consideration of and comment on the drawing of district lines and shall conduct themselves with integrity and fairness.
(b) The auditor of a local jurisdiction shall administer an application and selection process that is designed to produce a commission that is independent from legislative influence and reasonably representative of the local jurisdiction’s diversity. The application and selection process shall have the following features:
(1) All residents of the local jurisdiction who are registered to vote in the local jurisdiction may apply to the commission
(2) An applicant shall be disqualified if the applicant or a member of the applicant’s immediate family has a conflict of interest.
(3) An applicant review panel consisting of independent auditors, selected at random by the auditor, shall screen the applicants on the basis of relevant analytical skills, ability to be impartial, and appreciation for the local jurisdiction’s demographics and geography for the purpose of creating applicant subpools. The applicant subpools shall be balanced on the basis of applicant district residency in the local jurisdiction and applicant political party preference.
(4) The auditor shall randomly draw an equal number of names from each of the applicant subpools to appoint to the commission.
(5) The appointed members of the commission shall review the remaining names in the applicant subpools and appoint additional members to the commission on the basis of relevant analytical skills, ability to be impartial, and appreciation for the local jurisdiction’s demographics and geography.

24002.
 A commission established pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to all of the following:
(1) The Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of the Government Code), or its successor.
(2) The records of the commission pertaining to redistricting and all data considered by the commission are public records that shall be posted in a manner that ensures immediate and widespread public access.
(3) Commission members and staff shall not communicate with or receive communications about redistricting matters from anyone outside of a public hearing. This subdivision does not prohibit communication between commission members, staff, legal counsel, and consultants retained by the commission that is otherwise permitted by the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of the Government Code) or its successor outside of a public hearing.
(4) The commission shall establish and implement an open hearing process for public input and deliberation that shall be subject to public notice and promoted through an outreach program to solicit broad public participation in the redistricting public review process. The hearing process shall include hearings to receive public input before the commission draws any maps and hearings following the drawing and display of any commission maps. In addition, hearings shall be supplemented with other activities as appropriate to further increase opportunities for the public to observe and participate in the review process. The commission shall display the maps for public comment in a manner designed to achieve the widest public access reasonably possible.

SEC. 5.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.