By: Wentworth S.B. No. 1024
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
1-1 relating to the reapportionment of state legislative and
1-2 congressional districts and the creation, function, and duties of
1-3 the Texas Redistricting Commission; making an appropriation.
1-4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
1-5 SECTION 1. Subtitle A, Title III, Government Code, is
1-6 amended by adding Chapter 307 to read as follows:
1-7 CHAPTER 307. TEXAS REDISTRICTING COMMISSION
1-8 Sec. 307.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
1-9 (1) "Commission" means the Texas Redistricting
1-10 Commission mandated by Article III, Section 28, of the Texas
1-12 (2) "Plan" means the plan for state legislative and
1-13 congressional redistricting mandated by Article III, Section 28, of
1-14 the Texas Constitution.
1-15 Sec. 307.002. TEXAS REDISTRICTING COMMISSION. (a) A
1-16 redistricting commission shall be established in January of each
1-17 year ending in one to accomplish state legislative and
1-18 congressional redistricting.
1-19 (b) The five-member commission shall be appointed as
1-21 (1) the legislative leader of each of the two largest
1-22 political parties in each house of the legislature as designated by
1-23 a caucus of those parties' members in that house shall appoint one
2-1 voting member to the commission by January 15; and
2-2 (2) by January 31, the four appointed members, by an
2-3 affirmative vote of at least three, shall appoint the remaining
2-4 member, who shall be a nonvoting member and shall act as the
2-5 committee's chairperson.
2-6 (c) The appointments made under Subsection (b) shall be
2-7 certified to the secretary of state, and if any appointing
2-8 authority fails to make the required appointment and certification
2-9 by the date established by that subsection, within five days after
2-10 that date the supreme court shall make the required appointment.
2-11 (d) Vacancies on the commission shall be filled by the
2-12 persons who made the initial appointments, or their successors,
2-13 within 15 days after the vacancy occurs.
2-14 Sec. 307.003. OATH. Before serving on the commission, every
2-15 person shall take and subscribe an oath to faithfully perform the
2-16 duties of that office.
2-17 Sec. 307.004. ELIGIBILITY. (a) To be eligible to serve on
2-18 the commission a person:
2-19 (1) must be a registered voter of the state at the
2-20 time of selection;
2-21 (2) may not be or have been within one year prior to
2-22 selection a person required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter
2-24 (3) may not be or have been within two years prior to
2-25 selection an elected official or elected legislative, district,
3-1 county, or state party officer.
3-2 (b) The provisions of Subsection (a)(3) do not apply to the
3-3 office of precinct committee person.
3-4 Sec. 307.005. POLITICAL ACTIVITIES PROHIBITED. No member of
3-5 the commission may:
3-6 (1) campaign for elective office while a member of the
3-8 (2) actively participate in or contribute to any
3-9 political campaign of any candidate for a state or federal elective
3-10 office while a member of the commission; or
3-11 (3) hold or campaign for a seat in the house of
3-12 representatives, the senate, or the United States Congress for two
3-13 years after the effective date of the plan.
3-14 Sec. 307.006. OPERATION OF COMMISSION. (a) The legislature
3-15 shall appropriate sufficient funds for the compensation and payment
3-16 of the expenses of the commission members and any staff employed by
3-18 (b) The commission shall have access to statistical
3-19 information compiled by the state or its political subdivisions and
3-20 necessary for its reapportionment duties.
3-21 (c) The executive director of the Texas Legislative Council,
3-22 under the direction of the commission, shall provide the technical
3-23 staff and clerical services which the commission needs to prepare
3-24 its plan.
3-25 Sec. 307.007. DUTIES. In addition to other duties
4-1 prescribed by law, the commission shall:
4-2 (1) adopt rules pursuant to the Administrative
4-3 Procedure and Texas Register Act (Article 6252-13a, Vernon's Texas
4-4 Civil Statutes) to carry out the provisions of Article III, Section
4-5 28, of the Texas Constitution and this chapter which provide that
4-6 three voting members of the commission constitute a quorum to do
4-7 business and that the votes of three of the voting members are
4-8 required for any official action of the commission;
4-9 (2) act as the legislature's recipient of the final
4-10 redistricting data and maps from the United States Bureau of the
4-12 (3) comply with the requirements of the open records
4-13 law, Chapter 424, Acts of the 63rd Legislature, Regular Session,
4-14 1973 (Article 6252-17a, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), and the
4-15 open meetings law, Chapter 271, Acts of the 60th Legislature,
4-16 Regular Session, 1967 (Article 6252-17, Vernon's Texas Civil
4-17 Statutes); and
4-18 (4) prepare and publish a report with the plan to be
4-19 made available to the public which includes:
4-20 (A) the population and percentage deviation from
4-21 the average district population for each district;
4-22 (B) an explanation of the criteria used in
4-23 developing the plan, with a justification of any deviation in a
4-24 district from the average district population;
4-25 (C) a map of all the districts; and
5-1 (D) the estimated cost incurred by the counties
5-2 for adjusting precinct boundaries.
5-3 Sec. 307.008. REDISTRICTING PLAN. (a) In the redistricting
5-5 (1) each district shall contain a population,
5-6 excluding nonresident military personnel, as nearly equal as
5-7 practicable to the population of any other district; and
5-8 (2) to the extent reasonable, each district shall
5-9 contain contiguous territory, shall be compact and convenient, and
5-10 shall be separated from adjoining districts by natural geographic
5-11 barriers, artificial barriers, or political subdivision boundaries.
5-12 (b) The plan shall not be drawn purposely to favor or
5-13 discriminate against any political party or group.
5-14 Sec. 307.009. PROCEDURE FOR ADOPTION OF PLAN. (a) On
5-15 approval of a redistricting plan by three of the voting members of
5-16 the commission but not later than July 1 of a year ending in one,
5-17 the commission shall submit the plan to the legislature.
5-18 (b) After submission of the plan by the commission, the
5-19 legislature shall have the next 30 days during any regular or
5-20 special session to amend the commission's plan. If the legislature
5-21 amends the commission's plan, the legislature's amendment must be
5-22 approved by an affirmative vote in each house of two-thirds of the
5-23 members elected.
5-24 (c) The plan approved by the commission, with any amendment
5-25 approved by the legislature, shall be final upon approval of such
6-1 amendment or after expiration of the time provided for legislative
6-2 amendment by Subsection (b), whichever occurs first, and shall
6-3 constitute the redistricting law applicable to this state for
6-4 legislative and congressional elections beginning with the next
6-5 elections held in the year ending in two. This plan shall be in
6-6 force until the effective date of the plan based on the next
6-7 succeeding federal decennial census or until a modified plan takes
6-8 effect as provided in Section 307.011(f).
6-9 (d) If three of the voting members of the commission fail to
6-10 approve and submit a plan within the time limitations provided in
6-11 Subsection (a), the supreme court shall adopt a plan by September
6-12 30 of the year ending in one. Any such plan approved by the court
6-13 is final and constitutes the redistricting law applicable to this
6-14 state for legislative and congressional elections beginning with
6-15 the next election held in the year ending in two. This plan shall
6-16 be in force until the effective date of the plan based on the next
6-17 succeeding federal decennial census or until a modified plan takes
6-18 effect as provided in Section 307.011(f).
6-19 Sec. 307.010. CESSATION OF OPERATIONS. (a) Following the
6-20 period provided by Section 307.009(a) for the commission's adoption
6-21 of a plan, the commission shall take all necessary steps to
6-22 conclude its business and cease operations. The commission shall
6-23 prepare a financial statement disclosing all expenditures made by
6-24 the commission. The official record shall contain all relevant
6-25 information developed by the commission pursuant to carrying out
7-1 its duties under this chapter, maps, data collected, minutes of
7-2 meetings, written communications, and other information of a
7-3 similar nature. Once the commission ceases to exist, the secretary
7-4 of state shall be the custodian of the official record for purposes
7-5 of reprecincting and election administration, and any budget
7-6 surplus shall revert to the general revenue fund.
7-7 (b) Except as provided in Sections 307.011 and 307.012 for a
7-8 reconvened commission, the commission shall cease to exist on
7-9 January 1 of each year ending in two unless the supreme court
7-10 extends the commission's term.
7-11 Sec. 307.011. RECONVENING OF COMMISSION FOR LEGISLATIVE PLAN
7-12 MODIFICATION. (a) If a commission has ceased to exist, the
7-13 legislature may, on an affirmative vote in each house of two-thirds
7-14 of the members elected, adopt legislation reconvening the
7-15 commission for the purpose of modifying the redistricting plan.
7-16 (b) Section 307.004 governs the eligibility of persons to
7-17 serve on the reconvened commission. A vacancy involving a voting
7-18 member of the reconvened commission shall be filled by the person
7-19 who made the initial appointment, or their successor, within 15
7-20 days after the effective date of the legislation reconvening the
7-21 commission. A vacancy involving the nonvoting member of the
7-22 commission shall be filled by an affirmative vote of at least three
7-23 of the four voting members within 15 days after all other
7-24 vacancies are filled or, if no other vacancies exist, within 15
7-25 days after the effective date of the legislation reconvening the
8-1 commission. A subsequent vacancy on a reconvened commission shall
8-2 be filled by the person or persons who made the initial
8-3 appointment, or their successors, within 15 days after the vacancy
8-4 occurs. If any appointing authority fails to make a required
8-5 appointment within the time limitations established by this
8-6 subsection, within five days after that date the supreme court
8-7 shall make the required appointment.
8-8 (c) The provisions of Sections 307.006 and 307.007 are
8-9 applicable if a commission is reconvened under this section.
8-10 (d) The commission shall complete the modification to the
8-11 redistricting plan as soon as possible but no later than 60 days
8-12 after the effective date of the legislation reconvening the
8-13 commission. At least three of the voting members shall approve the
8-14 modification to the redistricting plan.
8-15 (e) Following approval of a modification to the
8-16 redistricting plan by the commission, the legislature has the next
8-17 30 days during any regular or special session to amend the
8-18 commission's modification. Any amendment by the legislature must
8-19 be approved by an affirmative vote in each house of two-thirds of
8-20 the members elected.
8-21 (f) The commission's modification to the redistricting plan,
8-22 with any amendments approved by the legislature, shall be final
8-23 upon approval of the amendments or after expiration of the time
8-24 provided for legislative amendment by Subsection (d), whichever
8-25 occurs first.
9-1 (g) Following the period provided by Subsection (d) for the
9-2 commission's approval of a modification to the redistricting plan,
9-3 the commission shall take all necessary steps to conclude its
9-4 business and cease operations in accordance with Section 307.010.
9-5 A reconvened commission shall cease to exist 90 days after the
9-6 effective date of the legislation reconvening the commission unless
9-7 the supreme court extends the commission's term.
9-8 Sec. 307.012. CHALLENGES TO PLAN. After the plan takes
9-9 effect as provided in Section 307.008, any registered voter may
9-10 file a petition with the supreme court challenging the plan. After
9-11 a modification to the redistricting plan takes effect as provided
9-12 in Section 307.011, any registered voter may file a petition with
9-13 the supreme court challenging the amended plan. The court may
9-14 consolidate any or all petitions and shall give all such petitions
9-15 precedence over all other matters.
9-16 Sec. 307.013. RECONVENING OF COMMISSION FOR REAPPORTIONMENT
9-17 OF JUDICIAL DISTRICTS. (a) If the Judicial Districts Board fails
9-18 to make a statewide reapportionment of judicial districts under
9-19 Subchapter F, Chapter 24, the commission shall reconvene on
9-20 September 1 of a year ending in three to make the statewide
9-21 reapportionment as required by Section 24.946(a).
9-22 (b) Section 307.004 governs the eligibility of persons to
9-23 serve on the reconvened commission. A vacancy involving a voting
9-24 member of the reconvened commission shall be filled by the persons
9-25 who made the initial appointments, or their successors, within 15
10-1 days after the effective date of the legislation reconvening the
10-2 commission. A vacancy involving the nonvoting member of the
10-3 commission shall be filled by an affirmative vote of at least three
10-4 of the four voting members within 15 days after all other vacancies
10-5 are filled or, if no other vacancies exist, within 15 days after
10-6 the effective date of the legislation reconvening the commission.
10-7 A subsequent vacancy on a reconvened commission shall be filled by
10-8 the person or persons who made the initial appointments, or their
10-9 successors, within 15 days after the vacancy occurs. If any
10-10 appointing authority fails to make a required appointment within
10-11 the time limitations established by this subsection, within five
10-12 days after that date the supreme court shall make the required
10-14 (c) The provisions of Sections 307.006 and 307.007 are
10-15 applicable if a commission is reconvened under this section.
10-16 (d) The commission shall complete the reapportionment of
10-17 judicial districts as soon as possible but no later than 90 days
10-18 after the date of reconvening the commission. The reapportionment
10-19 of judicial districts must be approved by a vote of at least three
10-20 of the voting members.
10-21 (e) The commission's reapportionment of judicial districts
10-22 becomes effective as provided in Sections 24.948 and 24.949.
10-23 (f) Following the effective date of a reapportionment of
10-24 judicial districts, the commission shall take all necessary steps
10-25 to conclude its business and cease operations in accordance with
11-1 Section 307.010. A reconvened commission shall cease to exist 90
11-2 days after the effective date of the reconvening of the commission
11-3 unless the supreme court extends the commission's term.
11-4 SECTION 2. Subsection (e), Section 24.945, Government Code,
11-5 is amended to read as follows:
11-6 (e) The legislature, the Judicial Districts Board, or the
11-7 Texas <
Legislative> Redistricting Commission < Board> may not
11-8 redistrict the judicial districts to provide for any judicial
11-9 district smaller in size than an entire county except as provided
11-10 by this subsection. Judicial districts smaller in size than the
11-11 entire county may be created subsequent to a general election in
11-12 which a majority of the persons voting on the proposition adopt the
11-13 proposition "to allow the division of ____________________ County
11-14 into judicial districts composed of parts of ____________________
11-15 County." A redistricting plan may not be proposed or adopted by
11-16 the legislature, the Judicial Districts Board, or the Texas
11-17 < Legislative> Redistricting Commission < Board> in anticipation of a
11-18 future action by the voters of any county.
11-19 SECTION 3. Subsection (a), Section 24.946, Government Code,
11-20 is amended to read as follows:
11-21 (a) The board shall meet in accordance with its own rules.
11-22 The board shall meet at least once in each interim between regular
11-23 sessions of the legislature and shall exercise its reapportionment
11-24 powers only in the interims between regular legislative sessions.
11-25 Meetings of the board shall be subject to the provisions of the
12-1 open meetings law, Chapter 271, Acts of the 60th Legislature,
12-2 Regular Session, 1967 (Article 6252-17, Vernon's Texas Civil
12-3 Statutes), except as otherwise provided by this subchapter. A
12-4 reapportionment may not be ordered in the interim immediately
12-5 following a regular session of the legislature in which a valid and
12-6 subsisting statewide reapportionment of judicial districts is
12-7 enacted by the legislature. Unless the legislature enacts a
12-8 statewide reapportionment of the judicial districts following each
12-9 federal decennial census, the board shall convene not later than
12-10 the first Monday of June of the third year following the year in
12-11 which the federal decennial census is taken to make a statewide
12-12 reapportionment of the districts. The board shall complete its
12-13 work on the reapportionment and file its order with the secretary
12-14 of state not later than August 31 of the same year. If the
12-15 Judicial Districts Board fails to make a statewide
12-16 apportionment by that date, the Texas < Legislative> Redistricting
12-17 Commission < Board> established by Article III, Section 28, of the
12-18 Texas Constitution shall make a statewide reapportionment of the
12-19 judicial districts not later than the 90th < 150th> day after the
12-20 commission reconvenes under Section 307.012 < final day for the
12-21 Judicial Districts Board to make the reapportionment>, and that
12-22 apportionment takes effect as provided by Sections 24.948 and
12-24 SECTION 4. This Act takes effect January 1, 1994, but only
12-25 if the constitutional amendment proposed by _.J.R. No. ____, 73rd
13-1 Legislature, Regular Session, 1993, relating to the establishment
13-2 of the Texas Redistricting Commission is approved by the voters.
13-3 If that proposed constitutional amendment is not approved by the
13-4 voters, this Act has no effect.
13-5 SECTION 5. The importance of this legislation and the
13-6 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
13-7 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
13-8 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
13-9 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.