By Wentworth                                    S.B. No. 1564

      75R3243 JSA-F                           

                                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.


 1-6           SECTION 1.  Subtitle A, Title 3, Government Code, is amended

 1-7     by adding Chapter 307 to read as follows:


 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

1-12     Constitution.

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

 2-2     commission;

 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

 3-6     population;

 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

3-19     Constitution.

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

 4-9     information.

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.


4-22     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

 5-1     24.946(a).

 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.