California Proposition 14, Creation of a Districting Commission (1982)

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See also: Redistricting in California
California Proposition 14 was on the November 2, 1982 ballot in California as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was defeated.

Proposition 14 would have created a commission to be in charge of redistricting in California, transferring the power for redistricting from the California State Legislature to the newly-formed commission.

The commission would have been called the Districting Commission and under its terms, the members of the group would have had to draw lines for political jurisdictions such that:

  • Each districting plan shall provide fair representation for all citizens, including racial, ethnic, and language minorities, and political parties.
  • Each Board of Equalization district shall be composed of 10 Senate districts, and each Senate district shall be composed of two Assembly districts.
  • The population of state legislative districts shall be within 1 percent of the average district population, but can vary by up to 2 percent to accomplish the objectives and standards specified in this measure. Congressional districts shall be as nearly equal in population as practicable.
  • Each district shall have only one representative.
  • There shall be no lapse of representation for a district because of district numbering.
  • To the extent practicable, districts:
  • Shall be geographically compact,
  • Shall not cross any common county boundary more than once,
  • Shall be comprised of whole census tracts, and
  • Shall minimize the division of cities, counties, and geographical regions.

Election results

Proposition 14
Defeatedd No3,672,30154.5%
Yes 3,065,072 45.5%

Constitutional changes

California Constitution
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If Proposition 14 had been approved, it would have:

Ballot summary

Proposition 14's official ballot summary said:

"Repeals Legislature's power over reapportionment. Establishes Districting Commission. Commission given exclusive authority to specify State Senate, Assembly, Equalization Board, and congressional district boundaries. Specifies criteria for establishing districts. Provides method of choosing commissioners having designated qualifications selected by appellate court justice panel and political party representatives. Requires districting plans be adopted for 1984 elections and following each decennial census thereafter. Specifies commission's duties and responsibilities. Provides for open meetings, procedures, public hearings, and judicial review. Retains referendum power. Requires Supreme Court action if districting plans not adopted within specified times."

Fiscal impact

The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:

"Approval of this measure would transfer the responsibility for reapportionment from the State Legislature to a new reapportionment commission. In carrying out its responsibilities, the commission would incur unknown, but probably significant, costs to compensate commission members, employ staff, develop the data needed to prepare districting plans, and otherwise support the work of the commission. The Legislature, however, would incur significant savings because it would no longer be required to adopt reapportionment plans.
We have no basis for concluding that the staff and support costs incurred by the commission in adopting reapportionment plans would be significantly higher or lower than the costs that otherwise would be incurred by the Legislature for redistricting purposes. Thus, only the salaries of the nonlegislative members of the commission would be in addition to the costs normally incurred for redistricting purposes. Therefore, assuming that all relevant reapportionment data acquired by the Legislature for the most recent reapportionment would be made available to the districting commission, we conclude that approval of this measure could increase state costs by at least $126,000 in 1983 and by a comparable amount (in today's dollars) once every 10 years beginning in 1991.
This measure would not affect local costs."

Path to the ballot

As an initiated constitutional amendment, Proposition 14 earned its spot on the ballot through the collection of signatures on petitions.

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