HB 458 – Governor’s Redistricting Bill. Below is a general summary of what the bill provides.
Drawing the lines for Congressional and Legislative districts will be done by a 9-member “Commission.”The three independent auditors will select 30 names from the applicant pool, 10 from the party with the highest number of registered voters; 10 from the party with the second highest number of registered voters, and 10 who are not members of either of those two parties.
Three members must be registered (for at least five consecutive years) with the party with the highest registration in the State
Three members must be registered (for at least five consecutive years) with the party with the second highest registration in the State
Three members may not be registered (and may not have been for at least five consecutive years) with either of the above two parties,
Membership on the Commission is carefully restricted. For the period five years preceding the appointment:
Neither the member nor any immediate family member may have been a candidate for election to the General Assembly or Congress
May not have served as an officer, an employee, or a paid consultant of a political party or the political committee of a candidate for elective federal or state office, or a political Party Central committee
May not be a regulated lobbyist in Maryland
May not be or have been a staff member or consultant to a anyone under contract to the Governor, a member of the General Assembly or a member of Congress; nor may a Commissioner be or have been a staff member or consultant to any immediate family member of the Governor, a member of the General Assembly, or a member of Congress
Neither the member nor an immediate family member may have donated $2,000 or more to any candidate for public office
In addition, Commissioners must agree that for the five years from the date of appointment, no Commissioner may:
Hold any appointed position in federal, state or local public office
Serve as paid staff for the General Assembly or any individual legislator
Register as a federal, state, county or municipal lobbyist in Maryland
How the Commissioners are Chosen:
The “Legislative Auditor” (the “LA”) organizes and oversees the process.
In the appropriate years, the LA will prepare an application, and advertise the request for applications to serve on the Commission from all registered voters in the State.
The LA will collect and review the applications and will remove any applicant who does not meet the criteria listed above.
Selecting from the applicant pool will be done by a panel of three “Independent Auditors,” whose names shall be drawn by the LA from all auditors employed and licensed by the state.
one of the auditors must be registered with the party having the highest number of registered voters;
one of auditors must be a member of the party with the second highest number of registered voters; and
one of the auditors must be someone who is not registered with either of the other two parties.
The Independent Auditors will select these 30 applicants based on relevant analytical skills, ability to be impartial, and appreciation for the State’s diverse demographics and geography.
The LA will then randomly select three applicants from each of the three sub pools, and those nine individuals will comprise the Commission.
Criteria for drawing legislative is as follows:
Shall be as nearly equal in population as practicable, but man NOT deviate more than 2% in population
Each Senator shall be from a single-member district
Each Legislator may be from a single-member district or a three-member district.
Each legislative district shall consist of adjoining territory, be compact in form, and of substantially equal population. Due regard shall be given to natural boundaries and the boundaries of political subdivisions.
Adoption of the Redistricting Plan
A member of the General Assembly may not introduce a bill containing a redistricting plan different from the plan submitted by the Commission.
The Presiding Officers will introduce the bill containing the Plan from the Commission.
The General Assembly may adopt or reject the Plan submitted by the Commission; adoption requires a three-fifths vote of each house
If the General Assembly rejects the Plan, or if Governor vetoes the bill and the veto is upheld, the Plan is returned to the commission, with suggestions, and the Commission will submit another Plan
If the second Plan is rejected, the Commission submits a plat to the Court of Appeals to review and establish the map and plan for redistricting.
Friends of Trent Kittleman
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