SCS/SJR 7 - This proposed constitutional amendment, if approved by the voters, provides that all meetings of any Senate or House apportionment commission, including any appellate apportionment commission, shall be public, and that such commissions shall be subject to general laws concerning open records and open meetings.
The amendment prohibits any member of an apportionment commission created for redistricting the House of Representatives or the Senate from serving as a member of the General Assembly for ten years after the date of their appointment to the commission by the Governor. Under current provisions of the Constitution, such members are prohibited from serving in the General Assembly for four years after the filing of the statement and map with the Secretary of State. The amendment prohibits current members of the General Assembly and their employees from serving on a commission. With regard to the Senate apportionment commission, the amendment requires the state political committees to consider geographic representation of the state when making such appointments.
Along with the final statement and map filed with the Secretary of State, this amendment requires the commissions to include the reasons or grounds for the numbers and the boundaries of the districts, if any district created in the final statement does not include any portion of the district previously assigned to that area. The amendment also requires a one week public comment period before an appellate apportionment commission may file its map and plan with the Secretary of State. The commissions are required to hold at least one public hearing, rather than public hearings as may be necessary, and the amendment requires that any vote to approve a final plan cannot be held less than forty-eight hours before the filing deadline.
The amendment provides that no more than two members of any district of the court of appeals may be appointed to an appellate judicial commission that is created to produce a map when a Senate or House commission fails to do so.
The amendment also requires that any vacancy on the commission be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
This amendment is similar to a provision in SJR 18 (2013) and HCS/SS#2/SJR 48 (2012) and HCS/SJR 37 (2012).