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Florida Constitution Revision Commission

PUB 700197: Independent Redistricting Commission by Alvan Balent

ARTICLE III: LEGISLATURE, Section 16. Legislative apportionment.

SECTION 16.Legislative apportionment.
  1. SENATORIAL AND REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICTS. hAt least twenty days before the start of the legislature'sThe legislature at its regular session in the second year following each decennial census, by joint resolution, an independent commission shall be formed to apportion the state in accordance with the constitution of the state and of the United States into not less than thirty nor more than forty consecutively numbered senatorial districts of either contiguous, overlapping or identical territory, and into not less than eighty nor more than one hundred twenty consecutively numbered representative districts of either contiguous, overlapping or identical territory. This commission shall consist of five members that are appointed by joint agreement of the majority and minority leaders of each legislative body, and commission members can only be removed by agreement of these legislative leaders for just and nonpartisan cause. The governor shall select one of these five members to be the commission's chair and provide the commission with its required material and staffing needs. No entity, whether partisan, non-partisan, or otherwise, shall interfere or attempt to influence the commission. Upon adopting its governing rules and procedures, the Commission shall earnestly perform its apportionment responsibilities, and the end result must show no unnecessary favoritism towards any particular group or ideology such as, but not limited to, racial or partisan preferences. All districts must consist of contiguous territory, and absent a federal law stating otherwise, districts shall be 1) as nearly equal in population as is practable, 2) as compact as possible, and 3) utilize existing political and geographical boundaries when feasible. [Note: this language incorporates Article 3, section 20-21 and thus they should be removed]. The commission must present its finalized apportionment proposal with any needed or requested explanation to the legislature for review no later than ten days before the regular session's conclusion. Absent genuine, bipartisan concern upon which the plan may be returned to the commission for acceptance or rejection with written explanation of the legislature's concerns, the legislature shall approve the commission's proposal by joint resolution. Should the legislature at session adjourn without this commission having completed its workadopting such joint resolution, the commission shall provide the governor with an explanation for its delay, and the governor by proclamation shall reconvene the legislature legislature within thirty days in special apportionment session which shall not exceed thirty consecutive days, during which no other business shall be transacted, and it shall be the mandatory duty of the commission to provide the legislature with a finalized apportionment proposal for its approval by to adopt a joint resolution of apportionment.
  2. FAILURE OF LEGISLATURE TO APPORTION; JUDICIAL REAPPORTIONMENT. In the event a special apportionment session of the legislature finally adjourns without adopting a joint resolution of apportionment, the attorney general shall, within five days, petition the supreme court of the state to make such apportionment. No later than the sixtieth day after the filing of such petition, the supreme court shall file with the custodian of state records an order making such apportionment.
  3. JUDICIAL REVIEW OF APPORTIONMENT. Within fifteen days after the passage of the joint resolution of apportionment, the attorney general shall petition the supreme court of the state for a declaratory judgment determining the validity of the apportionment. The supreme court, in accordance with its rules, shall permit adversary interests to present their views and, within thirty days from the filing of the petition, shall enter its judgment.
  4. EFFECT OF JUDGMENT IN APPORTIONMENT; EXTRAORDINARY APPORTIONMENT SESSION. A judgment of the supreme court of the state determining the apportionment to be valid shall be binding upon all the citizens of the state. Should the supreme court determine that the apportionment made by the commissionlegislature is invalid, the governor by proclamation shall reconvene the commission and legislature legislature within five days thereafter in extraordinary apportionment session which shall not exceed fifteen days, during which the commission and legislature shall adopt a joint resolution of apportionment conforming to the judgment of the supreme court.
  5. EXTRAORDINARY APPORTIONMENT SESSION; REVIEW OF APPORTIONMENT. Within fifteen days after the adjournment of an extraordinary apportionment session, the attorney general shall file a petition in the supreme court of the state setting forth the apportionment resolution adopted by the legislature, or if none has been adopted reporting that fact to the court. Consideration of the validity of a joint resolution of apportionment shall be had as provided for in cases of such joint resolution adopted at a regular or special apportionment session.
  6. JUDICIAL REAPPORTIONMENT. Should an extraordinary apportionment session fail to adopt a resolution of apportionment or should the supreme court determine that the apportionment made is invalid, the court shall, not later than sixty days after receiving the petition of the attorney general, file with the custodian of state records an order making such apportionment.