Thursday, September 06, 2007

Is California Going to Get Redistricting Reform?

The news out of the West Coast is that a bill to replace the legislature with a citizen's commission to handle California redisticting is on the verge of success:
With the term limits change initiative now qualified for the February ballot, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger cancelling his much-anticipated British trip, and the two parties’ leaders in the Assembly, Fabian Nunez and Mike Villines in apparent general accord on redistricting reform, the stage is again set for some late season action.

As anticipated, the term limits change initiative has narrowly qualified for the February 5th presidential primary ballot. This will help pave the way for redistricting reform legislation, now in the works. Without a term limits initiative, there is little real world incentive for many Democrats to back redistricting reform. And without redistricting reform, there is no hope of gaining Schwarzenegger’s support for the term limits change.
Schwarzenegger has no real dog in the fight over term limits, but he would oppose the term limits change without a change in the redistricting process, so the CA assemply leaders are probably going to move forward with a bill to create a citizen's redistricting committee.

The big question will be how the citizen's commission operates and whether or not it would be instructed to create competitive districts when possible.

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