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Florida Constitution Revision Commission

PUB 700219: Creation of Independent Apportionment Commission by Trevor Tezel

ARTICLE III: LEGISLATURE, Section 16. Legislative apportionment.

SECTION 16.Legislative apportionment.
  1. SENATORIAL AND REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICTS. The independent apportionment commission (the commission) legislature at its regular session in the second year following each decennial census, by joint resolution, shall 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. Should that session adjourn without adopting such joint resolution, the governor by proclamation shall reconvene the 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 legislature to adopt a joint resolution of apportionment.
    1. The commission shall consist of nine members. The highest-ranking officer of the house of representatives shall appoint two members to the commission, and then the minority leader of the house of representatives shall appoint two members to the commission. The highest-ranking officer of the senate shall appoint one member to the commission, and then the minority leader of the senate shall appoint one member to the commission. These four ranking members then jointly appoint one member who is not a member who is not a member of any party already represented on the commission; that person will serve as chair of the commission. If there is a deadlock between the four ranking members, then the chief justice of the supreme court shall appoint a chair who is not a member of any party already represented on the commission. In addition, the chief justice shall appoint two members who are not registered with a major party or who are registered with no party affiliation.
    2. On or before June 1 of each apportionment year, or within fifteen days after an apportionment is required by court order, the respective appointing authorities shall certify the nine commissioners to the custodian of state records.
    3. As a condition of appointment, each commissioner shall take an oath affirming that the commissioner shall not seek election to the senate or house of representatives and will not lobby the legislature for a period of two years after concluding service as a commissioner.
    4. If an appointment is not timely certified to the custodian of state records, then the chief justice shall fill the appointment within fifteen days.
    5. If there is a vacancy on the commission, then the initial appointing authority shall fill the vacancy and certify it to the custodian of state records within fifteen days after the vacancy occurs.
    6. The commission shall act by majority vote of its membership and shall establish its own rules and procedures.
    7. The commission shall give public notice prior to all meetings of the commission and shall make all meetings open to the public. The commission shall make all data and documents received, created, or used by the commission open and accessible to the public, except that any plan or draft proposal prepared by a commissioner or by teh commission staff is exempt from disclosure until such document is provided to another commissioner or to any member of the public other than the commission staff.
    8. Within one hundred and fifty days after the nine commissioners are certified to the custodian of state records, the commission shall file with the custodians of state records an apportionment plan for the senate and house of representatives.
    9. The legislature shall appropriate sufficient funds for the operation of the commission, as provided by law.
    10. After the supreme court determines that an apportionment is valid, the commission shall be dissolved.
  2. FAILURE OF COMMISSION LEGISLATURE TO APPORTION; JUDICIAL REAPPORTIONMENT. In the event the commission does not timely file an apportionment plan with the custodian of state records, the commission shall be dissolved and 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 commission files the apportionment plan with the custodian of state records 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 is shall be binding upon all the citizens of the state. Should the supreme court determine that the apportionment made by the commission legislature is invalid, the commission, governor by proclamation shall reconvene the legislature within twenty five days thereafter, in extraordinary apportionment session which shall adopt an amended apportionment plan that conforms to the judgment of the supreme court. not exceed fifteen days, during which the legislature shall adopt a joint resolution of apportionment conforming to the judgment of the supreme court.
  5. EXTRAORDINARY APPORTIONMENT SESSION; REVIEW OF AMENDED APPORTIONMENT. Within five fifteen days after the adoption of the amended apportionment plan adjournment of an extraordinary apportionment session, the attorney general shall file a petition in the supreme court of the state setting forth the apportionment plan resolution adopted by the commission legislature, or if none has been adopted reporting that fact to the court. The supreme court shall consider the validity of the amended apportionment plan as provided in subsection (c). 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 the commission an extraordinary apportionment session fail to adopt an amended apportionment plan a resolution of apportionment or should the supreme court determine that the amended apportionment plan 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.