By Junell                                      H.J.R. No. 106

      75R6184 JSA-D                           

                                 A JOINT RESOLUTION

 1-1     proposing a constitutional amendment to create the Texas

 1-2     Redistricting Commission to establish legislative and congressional

 1-3     districts and to revise the constitutional redistricting

 1-4     provisions.


 1-6           SECTION 1.  Section 28, Article III, Texas Constitution, is

 1-7     amended to read as follows:

 1-8           Sec. 28.  (a)  The Texas Redistricting Commission exercises

 1-9     the legislative authority of this state to adopt redistricting

1-10     plans for the election of the Texas House of Representatives, Texas

1-11     Senate, and the members of the United States House of

1-12     Representatives elected from this state.  Districts for those

1-13     legislative bodies may not be established or changed except as

1-14     provided by this section.

1-15           (b)  The commission consists of five members selected as

1-16     follows:

1-17                 (1)  one member appointed by a majority vote of the

1-18     members of the Texas House of Representatives belonging to the

1-19     political party with the most members in the house of

1-20     representatives;

1-21                 (2)  one member appointed by a majority vote of the

1-22     members of the Texas House of Representatives belonging to the

1-23     political party with the second highest number of members in the

1-24     house of representatives;

 2-1                 (3)  one member appointed by a majority vote of the

 2-2     members of the Texas Senate belonging to the political party with

 2-3     the most members in the senate;

 2-4                 (4)  one member appointed by a majority vote of the

 2-5     members of the Texas Senate belonging to the political party with

 2-6     the second highest number of members in the senate; and

 2-7                 (5)  one member appointed by an affirmative vote of not

 2-8     less than three of the members of the commission selected under

 2-9     Subdivisions (1) through (4) of this subsection.

2-10           (c)  The member appointed under Subsection (b)(5) of this

2-11     section is a nonvoting member and serves as presiding officer of

2-12     the commission.

2-13           (d)  Each member of the commission must be a resident of this

2-14     state.  A person is not eligible to serve on the commission if the

2-15     person:

2-16                 (1)  is an elected public officer;

2-17                 (2)  holds an office in a political party other than

2-18     membership on a precinct committee; or

2-19                 (3)  has served in a position described by Subdivision

2-20     (1) or (2) of this subsection within the two years preceding the

2-21     date the person is appointed to the commission.

2-22           (e)  The full term of a member of the commission begins on

2-23     February 1 of the year ending in one in which the initial

2-24     appointment to the position is required to be made and expires on

2-25     January 31 of the next year ending in one.  A vacancy on the

2-26     commission is filled in the same manner as provided by this section

2-27     for the original appointment.  The supreme court fills a vacancy

 3-1     only if the initial appointing authority fails to fill the vacancy

 3-2     on or before the 20th day after the date the vacancy occurs.

 3-3           (f)  A member of the commission may not be a candidate in an

 3-4     election for the Texas Senate or Texas House of Representatives

 3-5     before the second anniversary of the last date the commission

 3-6     adopted a plan or modification of a plan for that body during the

 3-7     person's service on the commission.

 3-8           (g)  A redistricting plan or modification of a redistricting

 3-9     plan is adopted by a vote of not less than three members of the

3-10     commission.

3-11           (h)  The members of the commission appointed under

3-12     Subsections (b)(1) through (4) of this section shall be appointed

3-13     not earlier than January 25 or later than January 31 of each year

3-14     ending in one.  The member appointed under Subsection (b)(5) of

3-15     this section shall be appointed not later than the 30th day after

3-16     the commission convenes under Subsection (i) of this section.  If a

3-17     member is not appointed in the time provided by this subsection,

3-18     the supreme court shall make the appointment before the sixth day

3-19     after the last date on which the initial appointing authority could

3-20     have made the appointment.

3-21           (i)  The commission shall convene on the first business day

3-22     after January 31 of each year ending in one and shall adopt a

3-23     redistricting plan for the Texas Senate, Texas House of

3-24     Representatives, and the members of the United States House of

3-25     Representatives elected from this state not later than July 1 of

3-26     that year, unless the federal decennial census is delivered to the

3-27     appropriate officials of this state after May 1 of that year, in

 4-1     which event the commission shall adopt those redistricting plans

 4-2     not later than the 90th day after the date the census is delivered.

 4-3           (j)  If the commission does not adopt a plan within the time

 4-4     required by Subsection (i) of this section, the commission's

 4-5     authority to adopt a plan is suspended and the supreme court shall

 4-6     adopt a plan for the applicable legislative body not later than

 4-7     September 1 of the year in which the census is delivered, or the

 4-8     60th day after the date on which the commission is directed to

 4-9     adopt a plan under Subsection (i) of this section, whichever date

4-10     is later.

4-11           (k)  The commission may reconvene on the motion of at least

4-12     two of its voting members at any time after the adoption of the

4-13     initial state senate, state house, or congressional redistricting

4-14     plan to modify that plan if the plan becomes unenforceable by order

4-15     of a court or by action of any other appropriate authority or is

4-16     subject to legal challenge in a court proceeding.  In modifying a

4-17     redistricting plan, the commission must comply with all applicable

4-18     standards imposed by this section, other provisions of this

4-19     constitution, and laws enacted under this section but is not

4-20     limited to modifications necessary to correct legal deficiencies.

4-21           (l)  The commission may reconvene to adopt a redistricting

4-22     plan if the supreme court does not adopt a plan for the applicable

4-23     body in the time provided by Subsection (j) of this section, if the

4-24     supreme court is required to adopt a plan for that body because the

4-25     commission did not adopt an initial plan for that body as required

4-26     by Subsection (i) of this section.

4-27           (m)  In a redistricting plan or modification of a plan

 5-1     adopted under this section:

 5-2                 (1)  each district must contain a population, excluding

 5-3     nonresident military personnel, as nearly equal as practicable to

 5-4     the population of any other district in the plan; and

 5-5                 (2)  to the extent reasonable, each district must

 5-6     contain contiguous territory, be compact and convenient, and be

 5-7     separated from adjoining districts by natural geographic barriers,

 5-8     artificial barriers, or political subdivision boundaries.

 5-9           (n)  The commission or supreme court may not draw a

5-10     redistricting plan purposely to favor or discriminate against any

5-11     political party or group.

5-12           (o)  The legislature shall enact laws consistent with this

5-13     section to implement this section.  The laws may include additional

5-14     qualifications for commission members and additional standards

5-15     applicable to redistricting plans.

5-16           (p)  The legislature shall appropriate funds to enable the

5-17     commission to carry out its duties.

5-18           (q)  The supreme court has original jurisdiction to hear and

5-19     decide cases involving congressional or state legislative

5-20     redistricting, including a case involving a redistricting plan

5-21     adopted by the supreme court under this section.  A member of the

5-22     court is not disqualified from participating in a redistricting

5-23     case because the member has participated or may participate in the

5-24     adoption of a redistricting plan, but may recuse himself or herself

5-25     from the case.

5-26           (r)  The commission shall convene for the first time on the

5-27     first business day after January 31, 2001.  The commission may not

 6-1     exercise any power under this section before that date.  This

 6-2     subsection expires January 1, 2002.  [The Legislature shall, at its

 6-3     first regular session after the publication of each United States

 6-4     decennial census, apportion the state into senatorial and

 6-5     representative districts, agreeable to the provisions of Sections

 6-6     25, 26, and 26-a of this Article.  In the event the Legislature

 6-7     shall at any such first regular session following the publication

 6-8     of a United States decennial census, fail to make such

 6-9     apportionment, same shall be done by the Legislative Redistricting

6-10     Board of Texas, which is hereby created, and shall be composed of

6-11     five (5) members, as follows:  The Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker

6-12     of the House of Representatives, the Attorney General, the

6-13     Comptroller of Public Accounts and the Commissioner of the General

6-14     Land Office, a majority of whom shall constitute a quorum.  Said

6-15     Board shall assemble in the City of Austin within ninety (90) days

6-16     after the final adjournment of such regular session. The Board

6-17     shall, within sixty (60) days after assembling, apportion the state

6-18     into senatorial and representative districts, or into senatorial or

6-19     representative districts, as the failure of action of such

6-20     Legislature may make necessary.  Such apportionment shall be in

6-21     writing and signed by three (3) or more of the members of the Board

6-22     duly acknowledged as the act and deed of such Board, and, when so

6-23     executed and filed with the Secretary of State, shall have force

6-24     and effect of law.  Such apportionment shall become effective at

6-25     the next succeeding statewide general election.  The Supreme Court

6-26     of Texas shall have jurisdiction to compel such Commission to

6-27     perform its duties in accordance with the provisions of this

 7-1     section by writ of mandamus or other extraordinary writs

 7-2     conformable to the usages of law.  The Legislature shall provide

 7-3     necessary funds for clerical and technical aid and for other

 7-4     expenses incidental to the work of the Board, and the Lieutenant

 7-5     Governor and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be

 7-6     entitled to receive per diem and travel expense during the Board's

 7-7     session in the same manner and amount as they would receive while

 7-8     attending a special session of the Legislature.  This amendment

 7-9     shall become effective January 1, 1951.]

7-10           SECTION 2.  Subsections (e) and (i), Section 7a, Article V,

7-11     Texas Constitution, are amended to read as follows:

7-12           (e)  Unless the legislature enacts a statewide

7-13     reapportionment of the judicial districts following each federal

7-14     decennial census, the board shall convene not later than the first

7-15     Monday of June of the third year following the year in which the

7-16     federal decennial census is taken to make a statewide

7-17     reapportionment of the districts.  The board shall complete its

7-18     work on the reapportionment and file its order with the secretary

7-19     of state not later than August 31 of the same year.  If the

7-20     Judicial Districts Board fails to make a statewide apportionment by

7-21     that date, the Texas [Legislative] Redistricting Commission [Board]

7-22     established by Article III, Section 28, of this constitution shall

7-23     convene on September 1 of the same year to make a statewide

7-24     reapportionment of the judicial districts not later than the 90th

7-25     [150th] day after the final day for the Judicial Districts Board to

7-26     make the reapportionment.

7-27           (i)  The legislature, the Judicial Districts Board, or the

 8-1     Texas [Legislative] Redistricting Commission [Board] may not

 8-2     redistrict the judicial districts to provide for any judicial

 8-3     district smaller in size than an entire county except as provided

 8-4     by this section.  Judicial districts smaller in size than the

 8-5     entire county may be created subsequent to a general election where

 8-6     a majority of the persons voting on the proposition adopt the

 8-7     proposition "to allow the division of ____________ County into

 8-8     judicial districts composed of parts of ____________ County."   No

 8-9     redistricting plan may be proposed or adopted by the legislature,

8-10     the Judicial Districts Board, or the Texas [Legislative]

8-11     Redistricting Commission [Board] in anticipation of a future action

8-12     by the voters of any county.

8-13           SECTION 3.  Section 26a, Article III, Texas Constitution, is

8-14     repealed.

8-15           SECTION 4.  This proposed constitutional amendment shall be

8-16     submitted to the voters at an election to be held November 4, 1997.

8-17     The ballot shall be printed to permit voting for or against the

8-18     following proposition: "The constitutional amendment to establish

8-19     the Texas Redistricting Commission to redistrict the Texas

8-20     Legislature and Texas congressional districts and to revise the

8-21     redistricting provisions of the Texas Constitution."