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S.F. No. 370 - Redistricting Principles; Redistricting Commission
Author: Senator Jason Isaacson
Prepared By: Alexis C. Stangl, Senate Counsel (651/296-4397)
Date: February 20, 2017


Section 1.  Number of members.  Establishes redistricting principles for legislative and congressional districts to be used in future redistricting.

Subdivision 1.  Number of districts.  Language from a statute being repealed is added to this section. The language specifies that there are 67 senate districts and 134 house districts.  Each senate district elects one senator and each house district elects one representative.  The number of congressional districts is equal to the number apportioned to the state.

Subdivisions 2 – 10 establish the following redistricting principles: nesting; equal population; contiguity and compactness; numbering; minority representation; preserving political subdivisions; communities of interest; political competitiveness; and incumbents.

Subdivision 11.  Priority.  When it is not possible to comply with all principles, the principles must be given priority in the order in which they are listed.

Section 2.  Redistricting commission.  Establishes a redistricting commission to carry out redistricting.

Subdivision 1.  Appointment.  By March 1 of a year ending in one, the legislative leaders must appoint a redistricting commission to draw district boundaries. The commission consists of five retired judges of the appellate or district courts who have not served in a party designated or party endorsed position.

Subdivision 2.  Code of conduct.  Members of the commission must abide by the Code of Judicial Conduct.

Subdivision 3.  Compensation and expenses.  Members of the commission must be compensated for their commission activity.

Subdivision 4.  Administrative support.  The Legislative Coordinating Commission must provide administrative support to the Commission.

Subdivision 5.  Plans submitted to commission.  The commission must adopt a schedule for interested persons to submit proposed plans and to respond to other plans. The commission must adopt standards for the format of plans.

Subdivision 6.  Public hearings.  The commission must hold at least three public hearings in different geographical regions of the state before adopting the first plans.

Subdivision 7.  Deadlines.  By April 30 of the year ending in one, the commission must submit redistricting plans to the legislature. The plans may be enacted or rejected, but not modified. If a plan is rejected, the commission must submit a second plan within two weeks. The second plan may be enacted or rejected, but not modified. If the commission fails to submit a plan by either deadline, the legislature may proceed to enact a plan. If a second plan is rejected, the commission must submit a third plan within two weeks. The third plan may be enacted as submitted, rejected, or modified by the legislature. Provisions are made for what happens if the legislature adjourns during this process.

Subdivision 8.  Expiration.  The commission expires when both legislative and congressional redistricting plans have been enacted or adopted by court order or upon adjournment sine die of the legislature at its first regular session after each federal decennial census.


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