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SCR18-004

Congressional Redistricting

Submitting to the registered electors of the state of Colorado an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning a change to the way that congressional districts are drawn, and, in connection therewith, taking the duty to draw congressional districts away from the state legislature and giving it to an independent commission, composed of twelve citizens who possess specified qualifications; prohibiting any one political party's control of the commission by requiring that one-third of commissioners will not be affiliated with any political party, one-third of the commissioners will be affiliated with the state's largest political party, and one-third of the commissioners will be affiliated with the state's second largest political party; prohibiting certain persons, including professional lobbyists, federal campaign committee employees, and federal, state, and local elected officials, from serving on the commission; limiting judicial review of a map to a determination by the supreme court of whether the commission or its nonpartisan staff committed an abuse of discretion; requiring the commission to draw districts with a focus on communities of interest and political subdivisions, such as cities and counties, and then to maximize the number of competitive congressional seats to the extent possible; and prohibiting maps from being drawn to dilute the electoral influence of any racial or ethnic group or to protect any incumbent, any political candidate, or any political party.
Session:
2018 Regular Session
Subject:
Elections & Redistricting
Bill Summary

The concurrent resolution amends the state constitution to create the independent congressional redistricting commission (commission) and to transfer the general assembly's responsibility to divide the state into congressional districts to the commission. Specifically, the concurrent resolution:

  • Specifies that the commission is appointed after each federal decennial census of the United States;
  • Specifies that the commission consists of 12 members, 4 of whom must be registered with the state's largest political party, 4 of whom must be registered with the state's second largest political party, and 4 of whom must not be registered with any political party;
  • Establishes the qualifications to serve on the commission and the method by which commissioners are appointed;
  • Authorizes the commission to adopt rules and specifies how the commission is staffed, how the commission is funded, how the commission is organized, and sets forth the ethical obligations of the commissioners;
  • Requires the commission to provide the opportunity for public involvement, including multiple hearings, the ability to propose maps, and to testify at commission hearings, and requires hearings to comply with state statutes regarding open meetings;
  • Mandates that paid lobbying of the commission be disclosed to the secretary of state by the lobbyist within 72 hours of when the lobbying occurred or when the payment for lobbying occurred, whichever is earlier;
  • Establishes prioritized factors for the commission to use in drawing districts, including federal requirements, the preservation of communities of interest and political subdivisions, and maximizing the number of competitive districts;
  • Prohibits the commission from approving a map if it has been drawn for the purpose of protecting one or more members of or candidates for congress or a political party, and codifies current federal law and related existing federal requirements prohibiting maps drawn for the purpose of or that results in the denial or abridgement of a person's right to vote or electoral influence on account of a person's race, ethnic origin, or membership in a protected language group;
  • Requires at least 8 of the 12 commissioners, including at least 2 of the commissioners who are not registered with any political party, to approve a redistricting map and specifies the date by which a final map must be approved;
  • Specifies that nonpartisan staff will draft a preliminary redistricting map and up to 3 additional maps, and, in the event of deadlock by the commission, creates a process by which nonpartisan staff submit a final map to the Supreme Court for review based on specified criteria; and
  • Allows for judicial review of a commission approved or nonpartisan staff submitted redistricting map, and limits Supreme Court review to whether the commission or the staff committed an abuse of discretion.
    (Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this concurrent resolution as introduced in the second house.)

Status

Introduced
Passed
Adopted

Bill Text

  • All Versions (7 )
    Date Bill Type Documents
    05/16/2018 Signed Act PDF
    05/16/2018 Final Act PDF
    05/07/2018 Rerevised PDF
    05/04/2018 Revised PDF
    04/30/2018 Reengrossed PDF
    04/27/2018 Engrossed PDF
    04/18/2018 Introduced PDF