H 44569 General Bill, By Clary, Funderburk, Bernstein, Elliott, Wheeler, Cogswell, Collins and Thigpen A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 80 TO TITLE 2 SO AS TO ENTITLE THE CHAPTER "SOUTH CAROLINA REDISTRICTING COMMISSION", TO CREATE AN INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION, TO PROVIDE THAT MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION WILL BE APPOINTED EVERY TEN YEARS AFTER THE FOLLOWING YEAR OF THE DECENNIAL UNITED STATES CENSUS, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE MEMBERSHIP AND PROCEDURES FOR THE COMMISSION TO FOLLOW IN REAPPORTION ING THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES , THE SENATE, AND THE STATE'S CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS.
12/13/17 House Prefiled 12/13/17 House Referred to Committee on Judiciary
VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
GH. 4456 A BILL
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 80 TO TITLE 2 SO AS TO ENTITLE THE CHAPTER "SOUTH CAROLINA REDISTRICTING COMMISSION", TO CREATE AN INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION, TO PROVIDE THAT MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION WILL BE APPOINTED EVERY TEN YEARS AFTER THE FOLLOWING YEAR OF THE DECENNIAL UNITED STATES CENSUS, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE MEMBERSHIP AND PROCEDURES FOR THE COMMISSION TO FOLLOW IN REAPPORTIONING THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, THE SENATE, AND THE STATE'S CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina: SECTION 1. Title 2 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding: "CHAPTER80 South Carolina Redistricting Commission
Section 2-80-10. The General Assembly finds that the periodic redistricting of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the congressional districts is a responsibility of great
consequence for it is designed to guarantee fai.I and effective representation for all citizens of South Carolina. It is a duty whose performance invoives the analysis of population data, the study of geographic and demographi-c factors, the assistance·of statisticians and other technical experts, and the development and completion of a redistricting plan in time not only to provide for an orderly electoral process and an informed electorate but also to comply with all state and federal election laws, including primary election and general election schedules prescribed by statute d by the state Constitutic>n. The General Assembly also finds that benefits are to be gained from the participation of the major political parties and of the public in the process. For these reasons, the General Assembly considers it proper and necessary to provide formally for public paiticipation in the formulation: of a r˘districting plan by establishing an independent commission to construct redistricting plans in_a timely fashion and to prescribe a sche.dule to best ensure that.the period.ic redistricting of the House of Representatives, the Senate,., d the congressional districts is carried out in conformity with statutorily and constitutionally prescribed dates in the nomination and election process and with all other state and federal election laws.
Section 2-80-20. For purposes of this chapter the: , · (1) redistricting plan defines the boundaries of electoral districts in a manner that is consistent· with the most recent federal census and with the criter.ia specified in Section 2-80-50; and · .' .: l ;*,. .I.· .. . :. . . . : ·: (2) most recently completed United States Census qualifies as the decennial enumeration required by Section 3, Article III of the Constitution of this.State. ( ._
Section 2-80-30. The General Assembly shall adopt a redistricting plan for the House of Representatives, Senate; and congressional dist'rict;s by the second Thursday in May of the year following the year of the decennial United States Census after receipt of final redistricting plans . as required by the provisions of this chapter. If the deadline is not met and notwithstanding Secti,on2-1-180; the·General Assembly may not adjourn sine-die until 1f'11as received' the final report of the South.Carolina Redistricting Commission as spedfied in this section, and it has·· enacted.the:required redistricting plans. · · ·
: Section 2-80-40. A). , On;January first of the year following-the·year of the decennial United States Census,,thete is'created the$outh Carolina Redistricting Com.mission consisting of seven members; none of whom inay'be·elected·o ci s, selec ed as follows: . (1) two members must be appointed by the Governor, no more than one of whom are members · of the appo ting Governor's politic. alparty;
(2) two members must be selected by the Senate, one upon the recommendation of the members of the majority political party in the Senate and one upon the recommendation of the members of the largest minority political party in the Senate;
(3) two members must be selected·by the House of Representatives, one upon the recommeildaaon of the members of the majority political party in the House of Representatives
and one upon the recommendation of the members of the largest minority political party in the House of Representatives; ·
(4) the members of the South Carolina Redistricting Commission appointed pursuant to items (1) through (3) shall at their first meeting by majority vote elect a seventh member who shall serve as chair. If the members are unable to elect a chair, after ten ballots, or in any case if no chair has been elected within ten days after the organizational meeting, the Governor shall appoint the chair.
(B) Vacancies must be filled in the manner of original appointment. Commission members shall receive the usual mileage, per diem, and subsistence as provided by law for members of state boards, committees, and commissions.
(C) The first meeting of the commission must be called by the Governor by the first day of February following creation of the commission, and the Governor also shall appoint one of the previously selected members to serve as temporary chair at the commission's organizational meeting until a chairman is selected.
(D) The commission shall adjourn upon filing its final report and the enactment by the General Assembly of all the redistricting plans required in Section 2-80-30. The commission shall have authority to reconvene to address any court orders requiring changes to the redistricting plan until such time as a new commission is appointed following the next federal census. The commission will develop a redistricting plan consistent with those court orders, which shall become effective upon submission of their report to the General Assembly.
Section 2-80-50. (A) The Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office shall provide technical staff and clerical services to the commission, and the commission may call upon the services of other state agencies and employ such additional experts as needed for advice and assistance as it considers necessary.
(B) Commission members are entitled to such mileage, subsistence, and per diem as authorized by law for members of boards, committees, and commissions while in the performance of the duties for which appointed. These expenses must be paid from the general fund of the State on warrants duly signed by the chairman of the commission and payable by the authorities from which they are appointed, except as provided in this chapter.
(C) The commission may employ or retain other professional staff or consultants, upon the determination of the necessity for other staff by the commission. The costs and expenses of the commission must be funded in the annual state General Appropriations Act.
(D) Apportionment redistricting plans for the Senate, House of Representatives, and United States House of Representatives districts shall comply with the United States Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 1971, et. seq. Redistricting plans must be comprised of districts that are geographically contiguous and, to the greatest extent possible, geographically compact, while maintaining and respecting the geographic integrity of any city, county, city and county, neighborhood, or communities of interest including, but not limited to, rural
communities, coastal communities, or sep&ration·by geographic features such as lakes, major rivers, national forest, or mountains. Communities of interest may not be interpreted to include relationships with political parties, incumbency,.or political candidates. The place of residence of an incumbent or a politic candidate may not be considered in the apportionment of districts, nor shall districts be apportioned for the purpose of favoring or discriminating against an incumbent, political candidate, or politic party. In drawing districts, the commission shall seek to achieve substantial population equality among districts with deviations for state House of Representatives and Senate districts allowable to achieve compliance with nondiscriminatory criteria.
Section 2-:80-60. After formulating a proposed redistricting plan, the commission shall conduct at least four public hearings on the plan which must be held in Columbia, Greenville, Charleston, and Florence and as any other hearings in the same or other locations throughout th t tateas it considers necessary for thy purpose.of receiving COIDJllents on the proposed plan. Notice<>f all public hearings l,D.USt be pu}?li$hedindaily newsp pers of general circulation covering all areas of the State. atleast fourteen _y-s fw: $ hearing date. After the hearing 0r hearings are . completed, the commission shall prep e a final report consisti11g of its redistricting plan and the criteria used in developing the plaµ. The final report.must be filed_by the first day of May, following creation of the commission, with the Gov riror, the Speakerofthe House of Representatives, the President of the Senate, and the respective chairmen of the Judiciary Committees of the House of Representatives and th Se,nate. Toe General Assembly shall und.ertake the.development and adoption of a redistric g pla1,1 on.its own, without regard to any subsequently filed plan by.the commission, if the commission fails to file its plan by the May first deadline."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Redistricting lines will not be drawn until 2021, but making certain our national, state & local legislative district lines protect voters and not politicians needs to begin during the 2018 SC Legislative Session, which starts on Tuesday, January 9, 2018.
Contact your state House of Representatives member. In your phone call, email, conversation, or letter, tell them:
Every 10 years our legislative district boundaries are redrawn, with far-reaching effects on our political process. The next redistricting process occurs in 2021, but we must start working on the process NOW to insure that the rules protect voters, not politicians.
What do we mean by nonpartisan redistricting? We don't seek an advantage for one party or the other, but a fair deal for voters. With our current system, Senate and House members pick winners and losers by the way that they define Congressional House and General Assembly House and Senate dist rict s. Voters should pick their representatives, not representatives their voters.
Stopping the Gerrymander cannot happen without citizen voices across the state. We need you now! Designed by Clemson LWV member & ad graphi c designer, Christin e Prado
Fr om: The League of Women Voters of South Carolina, 1/ 5/ 2018 . For more information go to www .lwvsc.org .