SJR 39 - This proposed constitutional amendment, if approved by the qualified voters of this state, changes the procedures for the redistricting of the state Senate and House of Representatives districts.
Currently, if a court invalidates a reapportionment or a reapportionment commission stands discharged, a commission of six members appointed by the Supreme Court from among the judges of the appellate courts submit an apportionment map with the Secretary of State within 90 days. This map is then used to elect members of the House of Representatives or Senators. Under this amendment, if a court invalidates a reapportionment or a reapportionment commission stands discharged, a new reapportionment commission is appointed in the same manner as previously appointed and they begin the reapportionment process again.
Currently, any reapportionment commission created under the state Constitution is not considered a public governmental body subject to open meetings laws. Under this amendment, all reapportionment commissions shall be considered a public governmental body and be subject to any general law concerning public meetings and public records. Further, each reapportionment commission is required to hold one or more public hearings on the tentative reapportionment plan to hear testimony of interested persons.
Currently, reapportionment commissioners are barred from holding public office as members of the general assembly for four years following the date of the final plan set forth by the reapportionment commission. This proposed constitutional amendment extends this period to ten years from their date of appointment. This amendment also prohibits members of the general assembly and their employees from serving as reapportionment commissioners.
Currently, each member of the General Assembly must be a resident of the county or district from where they are chosen to represent. This amendment requires that each member of the general assembly be from the district from where they are chosen to represent. Further, if any senator or representative move their residence from the district from which they were elected, their elected office shall be vacated. However, the renumbering or realignment of districts shall not be construed as removal of residence. If a reapportionment commission renumbers a district, they must state the reason for doing so in the final statement filed with the Secretary of State.
Currently, Senatorial districts shall be composed of contiguous and compact territory. This amendment also requires that no county lines be crossed except when necessary to add sufficient population to the remainder of a multidistrict county to complete a district which lies partly in the multidistrict county.