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SCR18-005

Legislative Redistricting

Submitting to the registered electors of the state of Colorado an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning a change to the manner in which state senate and state house of representatives districts are drawn, and, in connection therewith, reforming the existing legislative reapportionment commission by expanding the commission to twelve members and authorizing the appointment of members 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 state legislative districts using communities of interest as well as political subdivisions, such as cities and counties, and then to maximize the number of competitive state legislative 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

State house and state senate reapportionment - independent legislative redistricting commission - composition of commission - commissioner requirements and prohibitions - limited judicial review of maps - communities of interest and political subdivisions - maximization of competitive seats - prohibition of maps that dilute electoral influence. If approved by the registered electors of the state of Colorado during the general election on November 6, 2018, the independent legislative redistricting commission (commission) is created in the state constitution to divide the state into state senate and state representative legislative districts. In connection with the creation of the commission:

  • The commission is appointed after each federal decennial census of the United States;
  • 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;
  • The method by which commissioners are appointed to the commission and the qualifications to serve on the commission are established;
  • The commission is authorized to adopt rules;
  • The staffing, funding, and organization of the commission and the ethical obligations of the commissioners are established;
  • The commission is required to provide the opportunity for public involvement, including multiple hearings, the ability to propose maps, and to testify at commission hearings;
  • The commission hearings must comply with state statutes regarding open meetings;
  • Paid lobbying of the commission is required to 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;
  • Prioritized factors for the commission to use in drawing districts are established and include federal requirements, the preservation of communities of interest and political subdivisions, and maximizing the number of competitive districts;
  • The commission is prohibited from approving a map if it has been drawn for the purpose of protecting one or more members of or candidates for state legislative office or a political party, and 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, are codified;
  • At least 8 of the 12 commissioners, including at least 2 of the commissioners who are not registered with any political party, are required to approve a redistricting map and the date by which a final map must be approved is specified;
  • Nonpartisan staff will draft a preliminary redistricting map and up to 3 additional maps, and, in the event of deadlock by the commission, a process is created by which nonpartisan staff submit a final map to the Supreme Court for review based on specified criteria; and
  • Judicial review of a commission approved or nonpartisan staff submitted redistricting map is authorized, and the Supreme Court review is limited to whether the commission or the staff committed an abuse of discretion.
    (Note: This summary applies to this concurrent resolution as adopted.)

Status

Introduced
Passed
Adopted

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Bill Text

Pursuant to HJR20-1007, the Second Regular Session of the 72nd General Assembly is Temporarily Adjourned until 10:00 a.m., Monday, March 30, 2020. 

COVID-19 Resources

Temporary Guidelines for Review and Comment Meetings

The legislature will meet in limited session on Monday, March 30th. The Capitol will be open for the duration of the session for those with essential business related to the session. The building will not be available for public tours. People without essential business are encouraged to access the session through the General Assembly website and Colorado Channel.  Anybody with essential business related to the session will be required to practice appropriate social distancing measures.