Text of Proposition 27, the "Financial Accountability in Redistricting Act of 2010" (California)
- This page is the complete text of the act that will become law if California Proposition 27, Elimination of Citizen Redistricting Commission (2010) is approved.
- This page is the complete text of the act that will become law if California Proposition 27, Elimination of Citizen Redistricting Commission (2010) is approved.
- 1 SECTION 1. Title.
- 2 SECTION 2. Findings and Purpose.
- 3 SECTION 3. Amendment of Article II of the California Constitution.
- 4 SECTION 4. Amendment of Article XXI of the California Constitution.
- 5 SECTION 5. Amendment of Government Code.
- 6 External links
Note: Proposition 27, if approved, will alter several parts of the California Constitution. In the text displayed below, parts of the California Constitution that Proposition 27 proposes to delete are printed in
strikeout type. New provisions that Proposition 27 proposes to add to the California Constitution appear in italic type to indicate that they are new.
SECTION 1. Title.
This Act shall be known and may be cited as the “Financial Accountability in Redistricting Act” or “FAIR Act.”
SECTION 2. Findings and Purpose.
The people of the State of California hereby make the following findings and declare their purpose in enacting the FAIR Act is as follows: (a) Our political leadership has failed us. California is facing an unprecedented economic crisis and we, the people (not the politicians), need to prioritize how we spend our limited funds. We are going broke. Spending unlimited millions of dollars to create multiple new bureaucracies just to decide a political game of Musical Chairs is a waste—pure and simple. Under current law, a group of unelected commissioners, making up to $1 million a year in cumulative salary, preside over a budget that cannot be cut even when state revenues are shrinking. This reform will cut wasteful spending on unnecessary bureaucracies whose sole purpose is to draw districts for politicians. This initiative reform provides a permanent cap on this kind of spending, and prohibits any spending increases without approval by the voters. It will save many millions of dollars.
(b) Under current law, three randomly selected accountants decide who can be one of the 14 unelected commissioners who head a bureaucracy that wields the power to decide who represents us. This reform will ensure that those who make the decisions are accountable to the voters and that all of their decisions are subject to approval by the voters.
(c) Voters should always have the final voice. Under current law, voters can be denied the right to pass a referendum against unfair Congressional district gerrymanders. A referendum means that we, the voters, have a right to say “no” to the Legislature, say “no” to a statute with which we disagree. Under current law, protections to ensure a transparent, open process can be changed against the will of the people. This initiative reform ensures that voters will always have the right to challenge any redistricting plan (including the Congressional plan) and that no government officials can deny the public the right to participate in the process.
(d) One-person-one-vote should mean something. But under current law, some people can count 10 percent more than others. Under current law, one district could have almost a million more people than another. That is not fair representation, it is the opposite. Historically, severely underpopulated districts were called “rotten boroughs.” This practice must be stopped. This reform will ensure that all districts are precisely the same size and that every person counts equally.
(e) Unaccountable appointed officials cannot be trusted to serve the interests of our communities. The last time unelected officials drew districts, they split twice as many cities as those drawn by people who were accountable to the voters. This fracturing of cities diminishes the power of local communities. This reform strengthens protections against splitting counties and cities. We need reform to keep our communities and neighborhoods together so everyone has representation.
(f) Sacramento has become a full-time game of Musical Chairs—where incumbent term-limited politicians serve out their maximum term in one office and then run for another office where they are a shoo-in. This must stop! Current law gives State Assembly members the homefield advantage in running for the State Senate and gives State Senators the same advantage when running for the State Assembly. This is because current law mandates that in virtually all situations each State Senator represent 100 percent of two Assembly seats; each Assembly member represents 50 percent of a Senate district. Sacramento politicians already have access to millions of dollars from lobbyists and special interest groups. Stacking districts to further disadvantage ordinary people (homeowner groups, small business, environmental and community activist groups) who don’t have access to the special interest contributions that flow to Sacramento incumbents is outrageous. This reform ends this practice.
(g) “Jim Crow” districts are a throwback to an awful bygone era. Districting by race, by class, by lifestyle or by wealth is unacceptable. Yet the same proponents who backed the current failing law have also proposed mandating that all districts be segregated according to “similar living standards” and that districts include only people with “similar work opportunities.” Californians understand these code words. The days of “country club members only” districts or of “poor people only” districts are over. This reform ensures these districts remain a thing of the past. All Californians will be treated equally.
SECTION 3. Amendment of Article II of the California Constitution.
Section 9 of Article II of the California Constitution is amended to read:
SEC. 9. (a) The referendum is the power of the electors to approve or reject statutes or parts of statutes except urgency statutes, statutes calling elections, and statutes providing for tax levies or appropriations for usual current expenses of the State. None of these exceptions shall apply to any statutes or parts of statutes approving the final maps setting forth the district boundary lines for Congressional, Senate, Assembly, or State Board of Equalization districts.
(b) A referendum measure may be proposed by presenting to the Secretary of State, within 90 days after the enactment date of the statute, a petition certified to have been signed by electors equal in number to 5 percent of the votes for all candidates for Governor at the last gubernatorial election, asking that the statute or part of it be submitted to the electors. In the case of a statute enacted by a bill passed by the Legislature on or before the date the Legislature adjourns for a joint recess to reconvene in the second calendar year of the biennium of the legislative session, and in the possession of the Governor after that date, the petition may not be presented on or after January 1 next following the enactment date unless a copy of the petition is submitted to the Attorney General pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 10 of Article II before January 1.
(c) The Secretary of State shall then submit the measure at the next general election held at least 31 days after it qualifies or at a special statewide election held prior to that general election. The Governor may call a special statewide election for the measure.
SECTION 4. Amendment of Article XXI of the California Constitution.
Section 1 of Article XXI of the California Constitution is amended to read:
SECTION 1. In the year following the year in which the national census is taken under the direction of Congress at the beginning of each decade, the Legislature shall adjust the boundary lines of
congressional, Congressional, State Senate, Assembly, and Board of Equalization districts in conformance with the following standards and process pursuant to a mapping process using the following criteria as set forth in the following order of priority:
(a) Each member
of Congress shall be elected from a single-member district.
(b) Districts shall comply with the United States Constitution. The population of all
congressional districts shall be reasonably equal precisely equal with other districts for the same office. If precise population equality is mathematically impossible, a population variation of no more than plus or minus one person shall be allowed. After following this criterion, the Legislature shall adjust the boundary lines according to the criteria set forth and prioritized in paragraphs (2), (3), (4), and (5) of subdivision (d) of Section 2. The Legislature shall issue, with its final map, a report that explains the basis on which it made its decisions in achieving compliance with these criteria and shall include definitions of the terms and standards used in drawing its final map.
(c) Districts shall comply with the federal Voting Rights Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1971 and following) and all federal law in effect at the time the districting plan is adopted.
(d) Districts shall be geographically contiguous.
(e) The geographical integrity of any city, county, city and county, or community of interest shall be respected in a manner that minimizes its division. No contiguous city, county, or city and county that has fewer persons than the ideal population of a district established by subdivision (b) shall be split except to achieve population equality, contiguity, or to comply with all federal constitutional and statutory requirements including the Voting Rights Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1971 and following).
(c) Congressional districts (f) Districts for the same office shall be numbered consecutively commencing at the northern boundary of the State and ending at the southern boundary.
(d) The Legislature shall coordinate with the Citizens Redistricting Commission established pursuant to Section 2 to hold concurrent hearings, provide access to redistricting data and software, and otherwise ensure full public participation in the redistricting process. The Legislature shall comply with the open hearing requirements of paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (7) of subdivision (a) of, and subdivision (b) of, Section 8253 of the Government Code, or its successor provisions of statute.
Section 2 of Article XXI of the California Constitution is amended to read:
SEC. 2. (a)
The Citizens Redistricting Commission shall draw new district lines (also known as “redistricting”) for State Senate, Assembly, and Board of Equalization districts. This commission shall be created no later than December 31 in 2010, and in each year ending in the number zero thereafter.
(b) The Citizens Redistricting Commission (hereinafter the “commission”) The Legislature shall: (1) conduct an open and transparent process enabling full public consideration of and comment on the drawing of district lines; (2) draw district lines according to the redistricting criteria specified in this article; and (3) conduct themselves itself with integrity and fairness; and (4) apply this article in a manner that reinforces public confidence in the integrity of the redistricting process.
(b) The Legislature shall provide not less than 14 days’ public notice for each meeting dealing with redistricting. No bill setting forth the district boundary lines for Congressional, Senate, Assembly, or State Board of Equalization districts shall be amended in the three days prior to the passage of the bill in each house in its final form.
(c) The Legislature shall take all steps necessary to ensure that a complete and accurate computerized database is available for redistricting, and that procedures are in place to provide the public ready access to redistricting data and computer software for drawing maps.
(d) The records of the Legislature pertaining to redistricting and all data considered by the Legislature are public records and shall be posted in a manner that ensures immediate and widespread public access.
(e) The Legislature shall retain at least one legal counsel who has extensive experience and expertise in the implementation and enforcement of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1971 and following) and other federal and state legal requirements for redistricting.
(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, coerce, or retaliate against any employee by reason of views expressed by such employee in any legislative session or hearing relating to redistricting.
(g) The Legislature shall establish and implement an open hearing process for public input and deliberation that shall be subject to public notice and shall be promoted through a thorough outreach program in order to solicit broad public participation in the redistricting public review process. The hearing process shall include, at a minimum, (1) hearings to receive public input before the release of data by the United States Census Bureau for the most recent applicable decennial census, (2) hearings to receive public input before the Legislature draws any maps, and (3) hearings to receive public input following the drawing and display of any maps. In addition, hearings shall be supplemented with other activities as appropriate in order to further increase opportunities for the public to observe and participate in the review process. The Legislature shall display proposed maps for public comment in a manner designed to achieve the widest public access reasonably possible. Public comment shall be taken for at least 14 days from the date of the initial public display of maps.
(h) For the two-year period beginning with November, 2010, and in each three-year period beginning with the year ending in nine thereafter, the Legislature shall expend no more than the lesser of (1) two million five hundred thousand dollars ($2,500,000), or (2) the amount expended pursuant to this subdivision in the immediately preceding redistricting process, to implement the redistricting process required by this article. For each of the redistricting processes beginning with the year 2020 and thereafter, the above amounts shall be adjusted by the cumulative change in the California Consumer Price Index, or its successor, since the date of the immediately preceding appropriation made pursuant to this subdivision. This provision shall be deemed to constitute an absolute spending cap on the expenditure of public funds by the Legislature for the costs of implementing the redistricting process required by this article during the specified period.
(c) (1) The selection process is designed to produce a Citizens Redistricting Commission that is independent from legislative influence and reasonably representative of this State’s diversity.
(2) The Citizens Redistricting Commission shall consist of 14 members, as follows: five who are registered with the largest political party in California based on registration, five who are registered with the second largest political party in California based on registration, and four who are not registered with either of the two largest political parties in California based on registration.
(3) Each commission member shall be a voter who has been continuously registered in California with the same political party or unaffiliated with a political party and who has not changed political party affiliation for five or more years immediately preceding the date of his or her appointment. Each commission member shall have voted in two of the last three statewide general elections immediately preceding his or her application.
(4) The term of office of each member of the commission expires upon the appointment of the first member of the succeeding commission.
(5) Nine members of the commission shall constitute a quorum. Nine or more affirmative votes shall be required for any official action. The three final maps must be approved by at least nine affirmative votes which must include at least three votes of members registered from each of the two largest political parties in California based on registration and three votes from members who are not registered with either of these two political parties.
(6) Each commission member shall apply this article in a manner that is impartial and that reinforces public confidence in the integrity of the redistricting process. A commission member shall be ineligible for a period of 10 years beginning from the date of appointment to hold elective public office at the federal, state, county, or city level in this State. A member of the commission shall be ineligible for a period of five years beginning from the date of appointment to hold appointive federal, state, or local public office, to serve as paid staff for the Legislature or any individual legislator or to register as a federal, state, or local lobbyist in this State.
(d) The commission shall establish single-member districts for the Senate, Assembly, and State Board of Equalization pursuant to a mapping process using the following criteria as set forth in the following order of priority:
(1) Districts shall comply with the United States Constitution. Senate, Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts shall have reasonably equal population with other districts for the same office, except where deviation is required to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act or allowable by law.
(2) Districts shall comply with the federal Voting Rights Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1971 and following).
(3) Districts shall be geographically contiguous.
(4) The geographic integrity of any city, county, city and county, neighborhood, or community of interest shall be respected to the extent possible without violating the requirements of any of the preceding subdivisions. Communities of interest shall not include relationships with political parties, incumbents, or political candidates.
(5) To the extent practicable, and where this does not conflict with the criteria above, districts shall be drawn to encourage geographical compactness such that nearby areas of population are not bypassed for more distant population.
(6) To the extent practicable, and where this does not conflict with the criteria above, each Senate district shall be comprised of two whole, complete, and adjacent Assembly districts, and each Board of Equalization district shall be comprised of 10 whole, complete, and adjacent Senate districts.
(e) The place of residence of any incumbent or political candidate shall not be considered in the creation of a map. Districts shall not be drawn for the purpose of favoring or discriminating against an incumbent, political candidate, or political party.
(f) Districts for the Senate, Assembly, and State Board of Equalization shall be numbered consecutively commencing at the northern boundary of the State and ending at the southern boundary.
(g) (i) By September 15 in 2011, and in each year ending in the number one thereafter, the commission shall approve three Legislature shall enact one or more statutes approving four final maps that separately set forth the district boundary lines for the Congressional, Senate, Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts. Every such statute shall be subject to referendum pursuant to Section 9 of Article II of this Constitution. Upon approval, the commission shall certify the three final maps to the Secretary of State.
(h) The commission shall issue, with each of the three final maps, a report that explains the basis on which the commission made its decisions in achieving compliance with the criteria listed in subdivision (d) and shall include definitions of the terms and standards used in drawing each final map.
(i) Each certified final map shall be subject to referendum in the same manner that a statute is subject to referendum pursuant to Section 9 of Article II. The date of certification of a final map to the Secretary of State shall be deemed the enactment date for purposes of Section 9 of Article II.
(j) If the commission does not approve a final map by at least the requisite votes or if voters disapprove a certified final map in a referendum, the Secretary of State shall immediately petition the Supreme Court for an order directing the appointment of special masters to adjust the boundary lines of that map in accordance with the redistricting criteria and requirements set forth in subdivisions (d), (e), and (f). Upon its approval of the masters’ map, the court shall certify the resulting map to the Secretary of State, which map shall constitute the certified final map for the subject type of district.
Section 3 of Article XXI of the California Constitution is amended to read:
SEC. 3. (a)
The commission has the sole legal standing to defend any action regarding a certified final map, and shall inform the Legislature if it determines that funds or other resources provided for the operation of the commission are not adequate. The Legislature shall provide adequate funding to defend any action regarding a certified map. The commission has sole authority to determine whether the Attorney General or other legal counsel retained by the commission shall assist in the defense of a certified final map.
(b) (1) The California Supreme Court has original and exclusive jurisdiction in all state judicial proceedings in which a certified final map is challenged.
(2) (b) Any registered voter registered in this state State may file a petition for a writ of mandate or writ of prohibition with the California Supreme Court, within 45 days after the enactment of commission has certified a final map to the Secretary of State, to bar the Secretary of State from implementing the redistricting plan on the grounds that the filed plan violates this Constitution, the United States Constitution, or any federal or state statute.
(3) The Supreme Court shall give priority to ruling on a petition for a writ of mandate or a writ of prohibition filed pursuant to paragraph (2). If the court determines that a final certified map violates this Constitution, the United States Constitution, or any federal or state statute, the court shall fashion the relief that it deems appropriate.
(c) If final maps are not enacted in a timely manner, or if the Supreme Court determines that a final map violates this Constitution, the United States Constitution, or any federal statute, the California Supreme Court shall fashion the relief that it deems appropriate in accordance with the redistricting criteria and requirements set forth in Section 1 of this article. This relief may but need not extend the time for the Legislature to carry out its responsibilities.
SECTION 5. Amendment of Government Code.
Chapter 3.2 (commencing with Section 8251) of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code is repealed.