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Introduced Version House Joint Resolution 5 History

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HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 5


(By Delegate Lane)

[Introduced February 13, 2013; referred to the Committee on Constitutional Revision then the Judiciary.]





Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of West Virginia, amending section four, article I thereof and section ten, article VI thereof, relating to representatives to Congress, the arrangement of Congressional, Senatorial and Delegate Districts after census by creating a Citizens' Redistricting Commission; designating the terms of office and duties of commissioners; providing that Citizens' Redistricting Commission must submit redistricting plans to each house; providing that each house may reject its plan by a two-thirds vote of the members elected; numbering and designating the proposed amendment; and providing a summarized statement of the purpose of such proposed amendments.
    Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia, two thirds of the members elected to each house agreeing thereto:
    That the question of ratification or rejection of an amendment to the Constitution of the State of West Virginia be submitted to the voters of the state at the next general election to be held in the year 2014, which proposed amendment is that section four, article I thereof and section ten, article VI thereof, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE I. RELATIONS TO THE U.S. GOVERNMENT.
§4. Representatives to Congress.
    
For the election of representatives to Congress, the state shall be divided into districts, corresponding in number with the representatives to which it may be entitled; which districts shall be formed of contiguous counties, and be compact. Each district shall contain, as nearly as may be, an equal number of population, to be determined according to the rule prescribed in the Constitution of the United States. No later than ninety days from the time the census data is available from the United States, the arrangement of Congressional Districts shall be presented to the Legislature in a bill submitted for introduction in each house at the request of the Citizens' Redistricting Commission hereinafter created. In order to consider any other measure providing for the arrangement of the Congressional Districts, each house of the Legislature must consider without amendment and reject by two- thirds vote of those elected in each house the bill as proposed by the Citizens' Redistricting Commission. All voting on the floor of both houses on the question of passage of any general law shall be by yeas and nays to be entered on the journals. Prior to submission of the bill by the Citizens' Redistricting Commission, the commission shall hold no less than a total of five public hearings, with one hearing being held in each of the various regions of the state. The bill submitted to the Legislature by the commission shall conform to the United States Constitution, West Virginia Constitution, and case law governing redistricting. In drafting the proposed arrangement of Congressional Districts, the commission may not consider the residency of incumbents.
ARTICLE VI. THE LEGISLATURE.
§10. Arrangement of Senatorial and Delegate Districts.
    The arrangement of the Senatorial and Delegate Districts, and apportionment of Delegates, shall hereafter be declared by law, as soon as possible after each succeeding census, taken by authority of the United States. When so declared they shall apply to the first general election for members of the Legislature, to be thereafter held, and shall continue in force unchanged, until such districts shall be altered, and delegates apportioned, under the succeeding census.
    No later than ninety days from the time the census data is available from the United States, the arrangement of Senatorial and Delegate Districts shall be presented to the Legislature in a bill submitted for introduction in each house at the request of the Citizens' Redistricting Commission hereinafter created. In order to consider any other measure providing for the arrangement of the Senatorial and Delegate Districts, each house of the Legislature must consider without amendment and reject by two-thirds vote of those elected in each house the bill relating to that house as proposed by the Citizens' Redistricting Commission. All voting on the floor of both houses on the question of passage of any general law shall be by yeas and nays to be entered on the journals. Prior to submission of the bill by the Citizens' Redistricting Commission, the commission shall hold no less than a total of five public hearings, with one hearing being held in each of the various regions of the state. The bill submitted to the Legislature by the commission shall conform to the United States Constitution, West Virginia Constitution, and case law governing redistricting. In drafting the proposed arrangement of Senatorial and Delegate Districts, the commission may not consider the residency of incumbents. In drafting the proposed arrangement of Delegate Districts, the commission shall arrange for districts containing one delegate.
____The Citizens' Redistricting Commission is hereby created. It shall be composed of seven members who have been residents and registered voters of this state for at least ten years prior to the date of appointment, to be appointed by the Governor during the year in which the decennial census is taken, no more than four of whom shall be members of the same political party. The members shall be broadly representative of the public at large. Members of the Legislature and officers and employees of the state or of any county, municipality or other governmental unit of the state are not eligible for appointment to or to serve as members of the commission. The term of each member of the commission expires upon the submission of the commission's proposed bill to the Legislature. Any member may be reappointed for any number of terms, and any vacancy shall be filled by the Governor for the unexpired term. Any member of the commission may be removed by the Governor prior to the expiration of the member's term for official misconduct, incompetency or neglect of duty. The Governor shall designate one member of the commission as chairman. The members of the commission shall serve without compensation, but shall be entitled to be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred in the performance of their duties as members. For purposes of fulfilling the duties proscribed herein, the Legislature shall make available to the commission all necessary information and staff.
    Resolved further, That in accordance with the provisions of article eleven, chapter three of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, such the proposed amendment is hereby numbered "Amendment No. 1" and designated as the "Citizens' Redistricting Commission Amendment" and the purpose of the proposed amendment is summarized as follows: "To allow citizens to participate directly in the formation of congressional and legislative districts by creating a nonpartisan citizen commission which will hold public hearings around the state and present a redistricting bill to the Legislature."

    NOTE: The purpose of this Resolution is to propose an amendment to the State Constitution that would allow citizens to participate directly in the formation of legislative districts by creating a nonpartisan citizen commission which will hold public hearings around the state and present a redistricting bill to the Legislature.

    Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present Constitution and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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