By Junell H.B. No. 3119
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
1-1 AN ACT
1-2 relating to the reapportionment of state legislative,
1-3 congressional, and judicial districts and the creation, function,
1-4 and duties of the Texas Redistricting Commission.
1-5 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
1-6 SECTION 1. Subtitle A, Title 3, Government Code, is amended
1-7 by adding Chapter 307 to read as follows:
1-8 CHAPTER 307. TEXAS REDISTRICTING COMMISSION
1-9 Sec. 307.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
1-10 (1) "Commission" means the Texas Redistricting
1-11 Commission established by Section 28, Article III, Texas
1-13 (2) "Plan" means a redistricting plan for the Texas
1-14 Senate, Texas House of Representatives, or Texas congressional
1-15 districts adopted as provided by Section 28, Article III, Texas
1-16 Constitution, and this chapter.
1-17 Sec. 307.002. OATH. Before serving on the commission, each
1-18 person appointed shall take and subscribe to the constitutional
1-19 oath of office.
1-20 Sec. 307.003. ELIGIBILITY. The eligibility of a person to
1-21 serve on the commission is as prescribed by Section 28, Article
1-22 III, Texas Constitution.
1-23 Sec. 307.004. POLITICAL ACTIVITIES PROHIBITED. A member of
1-24 the commission may not:
2-1 (1) campaign for elective office while a member of the
2-3 (2) actively participate in or contribute to the
2-4 political campaign of a candidate for a state or federal elective
2-5 office while a member of the commission; or
2-6 (3) serve as or be a candidate to be a member of the
2-7 Texas Legislature or the United States Congress before the second
2-8 anniversary of the last date the commission adopted a redistricting
2-9 plan for that body during the member's service on the commission.
2-10 Sec. 307.005. OPERATION OF COMMISSION. (a) The legislature
2-11 shall appropriate sufficient funds for the compensation and payment
2-12 of the expenses of the commission members and any staff employed by
2-13 the commission.
2-14 (b) The commission shall be provided access to statistical
2-15 information compiled by the state or its political subdivisions as
2-16 necessary for the commission's reapportionment duties.
2-17 (c) The Texas Legislative Council, under the direction of
2-18 the commission, shall provide the technical staff and clerical
2-19 services that the commission needs to prepare its plan.
2-20 Sec. 307.006. DUTIES. The commission shall:
2-21 (1) adopt rules to carry out the constitutional duties
2-22 of the commission and to administer this chapter;
2-23 (2) act as the legislature's recipient of the official
2-24 census data and maps from the United States Bureau of the Census
2-25 pursuant to the federal decennial census; and
2-26 (3) comply with Chapters 551 and 552.
2-27 Sec. 307.007. REDISTRICTING PLAN; FORM. (a) For each
3-1 redistricting plan or modification of a redistricting plan adopted
3-2 by the commission, the commission shall prepare and publish a
3-3 report that includes:
3-4 (1) for each district in the plan, the total
3-5 population and the percentage deviation from the average district
3-7 (2) an explanation of the criteria used in developing
3-8 the plan, with a justification of any population deviation in a
3-9 district from the average district population;
3-10 (3) a map or maps of all the districts; and
3-11 (4) the estimated cost to be incurred by the counties
3-12 for changes in county election precinct boundaries required to
3-13 conform to the districts adopted by the commission.
3-14 (b) The commission shall make a copy of a report prepared
3-15 under this section available to the public.
3-16 Sec. 307.008. REDISTRICTING PLAN STANDARDS. A redistricting
3-17 plan adopted by the commission must conform to the standards
3-18 provided by Sections 25, 26, and 28, Article III, Texas
3-20 Sec. 307.009. SUBMISSION OF PLAN. On approval of a
3-21 redistricting plan or modification of a plan by the commission, the
3-22 commission shall submit the plan or modification to the governor,
3-23 the secretary of state, and the presiding officer of each house of
3-24 the legislature.
3-25 Sec. 307.010. CESSATION OF OPERATIONS. (a) Following the
3-26 initial adoption of all plans that the commission is required to
3-27 adopt, the commission shall take all necessary steps to conclude
4-1 its business and suspend operations until the commission reconvenes
4-2 as provided by Section 28, Article III, or Section 7a, Article V,
4-3 Texas Constitution, if it does reconvene.
4-4 (b) The commission shall prepare a financial statement
4-5 disclosing all expenditures made by the commission. The official
4-6 record of the commission shall contain all relevant information
4-7 developed by the commission in carrying out its duties, including
4-8 maps, data, minutes of meetings, written communications, and other
4-10 (c) After the commission suspends operations, the secretary
4-11 of state becomes the custodian of its official records for purposes
4-12 of election administration. Any unexpended funds of the commission
4-13 revert to the general revenue fund.
4-14 Sec. 307.011. CHALLENGES TO PLAN. (a) After a
4-15 redistricting plan or modification of a redistricting plan adopted
4-16 by the commission or supreme court becomes effective, any
4-17 registered voter may file a petition with the supreme court
4-18 challenging the plan.
4-19 (b) The supreme court may consolidate any or all petitions
4-20 and shall give the petitions precedence over all other matters.
4-21 Sec. 307.012. RECONVENING OF COMMISSION FOR REAPPORTIONMENT
4-22 OF JUDICIAL DISTRICTS. (a) If the Judicial Districts Board fails
4-23 to make a statewide reapportionment of judicial districts under
4-24 Subchapter F, Chapter 24, unless the commission is already
4-25 reconvened, the commission shall reconvene on September 1 of the
4-26 year provided by Section 7a(e), Article V, Texas Constitution, to
4-27 make the statewide reapportionment as required by Section
5-2 (b) The commission shall complete the reapportionment of
5-3 judicial districts as soon as possible within the time provided by
5-4 Subsection (e), Section 7a, Article V, Texas Constitution.
5-5 (c) The commission's reapportionment of judicial districts
5-6 becomes effective as provided by Sections 24.948 and 24.949.
5-7 (d) Following the effective date of a reapportionment of
5-8 judicial districts, the commission shall take all necessary steps
5-9 to conclude its business and suspend operations in accordance with
5-10 Section 307.010. The commission shall suspend operations after the
5-11 90th day after the September 1 on which the commission's authority
5-12 to adopt a reapportionment plan for the judicial districts begins,
5-13 unless the supreme court grants the commission additional time to
5-14 conduct its activities.
5-15 SECTION 2. Section 24.945(e), Government Code, is amended to
5-16 read as follows:
5-17 (e) The legislature, the Judicial Districts Board, or the
5-18 Texas [
Legislative] Redistricting Commission [ Board] may not
5-19 redistrict the judicial districts to provide for any judicial
5-20 district smaller in size than an entire county except as provided
5-21 by this subsection. Judicial districts smaller in size than the
5-22 entire county may be created subsequent to a general election in
5-23 which a majority of the persons voting on the proposition adopt the
5-24 proposition "to allow the division of ____________________ County
5-25 into judicial districts composed of parts of ____________________
5-26 County." A redistricting plan may not be proposed or adopted by
5-27 the legislature, the Judicial Districts Board, or the Texas
6-1 [ Legislative] Redistricting Commission [ Board] in anticipation of a
6-2 future action by the voters of any county.
6-3 SECTION 3. Section 24.946(a), Government Code, is amended to
6-4 read as follows:
6-5 (a) The board shall meet in accordance with its own rules.
6-6 The board shall meet at least once in each interim between regular
6-7 sessions of the legislature and shall exercise its reapportionment
6-8 powers only in the interims between regular legislative sessions.
6-9 Meetings of the board shall be subject to the provisions of the
6-10 open meetings law, Chapter 551, Government Code [ Chapter 271, Acts
6-11 of the 60th Legislature, Regular Session, 1967 (Article 6252-17,
6-12 Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes)], except as otherwise provided by
6-13 this subchapter. A reapportionment may not be ordered in the
6-14 interim immediately following a regular session of the legislature
6-15 in which a valid and subsisting statewide reapportionment of
6-16 judicial districts is enacted by the legislature. Unless the
6-17 legislature enacts a statewide reapportionment of the judicial
6-18 districts following each federal decennial census, the board shall
6-19 convene not later than the first Monday of June of the third year
6-20 following the year in which the federal decennial census is taken
6-21 to make a statewide reapportionment of the districts. The board
6-22 shall complete its work on the reapportionment and file its order
6-23 with the secretary of state not later than August 31 of the same
6-24 year. If the Judicial Districts Board fails to make a statewide
6-25 apportionment by that date, the Texas [ Legislative] Redistricting
6-26 Commission [ Board] established by Article III, Section 28, of the
6-27 Texas Constitution shall make a statewide reapportionment of the
7-1 judicial districts not later than the 90th [ 150th] day after the
7-2 final day for the Judicial Districts Board to make the
7-3 reapportionment, and that apportionment takes effect as provided by
7-4 Sections 24.948 and 24.949.
7-5 SECTION 4. This Act takes effect January 1, 2001, but only
7-6 if the constitutional amendment proposed by the 75th Legislature,
7-7 Regular Session, 1997, relating to the establishment of the Texas
7-8 Redistricting Commission to redistrict the Texas Legislature and
7-9 Texas congressional districts and to revise the constitutional
7-10 redistricting provisions, is approved by the voters. If that
7-11 proposed constitutional amendment is not approved by the voters,
7-12 this Act has no effect.
7-13 SECTION 5. The importance of this legislation and the
7-14 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
7-15 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
7-16 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
7-17 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.