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California Proposition 39, Creation of a Redistricting Commission (1984)

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See also: Redistricting in California
California Proposition 39 was on the November 6, 1984 statewide general election ballot in California as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was defeated.

Proposition 39 would have amended the California Constitution to:

In 2010, voters did approve an independent redistricting commission, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.

Election results

Proposition 39
Defeatedd No4,919,86055.2%
Yes 3,995,762 44.8%

Impact on constitution

California Constitution

Proposition 39, if it had been approved, would have:

In addition to these proposed changes to the state's constitution, Proposition 39 would also have repealed Division 18 of the state's statutory Election Code.


The official voter guide arguments supporting Proposition 39 were signed by:


The official voter guide arguments opposing Proposition 39 were signed by:

Ballot summary

Proposition 39's official ballot summary said:

"Repeals existing constitutional and statutory provisions. Adds provisions specifying criteria and procedures to reapportion Senate, Assembly, congressional, and equalization districts for 1986 elections and after each decennial census. Establishes new commission to adopt plans. Commission composed of eight former appellate court justices, who haven't previously been representatives from districts reapportioned and meet other criteria, and certain nonvoting members. Voting members selected by lot equally from two lists comprised of justices appointed by governors representing political parties with largest (list 1) and second largest (list 2) registered voters. Plans subject to referendum, Supreme Court review. Summary of Legislative Analyst's estimate of net state and local government fiscal impact: Commission costs of up to $3.5 million for reapportionment for 1986 election. Costs of $10,000 to $20,000 each to relocate an unknown number of district legislative offices. One-time county costs of approximately $500,000 for new maps and election materials. Savings for certain counties on printing costs of about $300,000 in 1986 and $200,000 every two years thereafter. Reapportionments after 1990 census, and following, will probably cost less than under existing law due to expenditure limit in measure."

Fiscal impact

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

"With respect to the 1985 reapportionment, this measure would have the following fiscal effects:
1. State Costs. The measure provides that the appropriation to the commission for the 1985 reapportionment shall be no greater than one-half of the amount that the Legislature spent in developing and adopting the reapportionment plans that were based on the 1980 census, adjusted for subsequent inflation. Accordingly, the added cost to the state for the 1985 reapportionment would be up to $3.5 million.
The changes in California's legislative district boundaries that result from the 1985 reapportionment could require the relocation of local legislative offices. The cost of relocating these offices and notifying constituents of the change would range from $10,000 to $20,000 per office. It is not possible, however, to predict the number of offices that would have to be relocated as a result of this measure.
2. County Costs. The change in district boundaries resulting from the 1985 reapportionment would require that the counties develop new precinct maps and related election materials. These one-time costs could be approximately $500,000. Certain counties also could realize savings in ballot printing costs. This is because, under the measure, there could be fewer legislative districts within these counties, thereby reducing the number of different ballot formats that have to be prepared. These cost savings could be about $300,000 in 1986, and $200,000 every two years thereafter during the period in which the new 1985 reapportionment plan is in effect.
Following the 1990 census, this measure would have the following fiscal implications:
The measure would limit state appropriations to the commission for future reapportionments to no more than one-half the amount expended for this purpose by the Legislature in the 1980's, adjusted for subsequent inflation. As a result of this limit, reapportionment costs in the state probably would be less than they would be under existing law."

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