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S.F. No. 492 - Establishing Redistricting Principles and a Redistricting Commission (The Committee Engrossment)
Author: Senator Kent Eken
Prepared By: Alexis C. Stangl, Senate Counsel (651/296-4397)
Date: March 4, 2015


Section 1 provides the number of districts and redistricting principles.

Subdivisions 1 provides that there are 67 senate districts, 134 house districts, and the number of congressional districts apportioned to the state.

Subdivision 2 states that house districts must not be divided in forming a senate district.

Subdivision 3 requires that legislative districts must not deviate from the ideal district by more than two percent. Congressional districts must be as equal as practicable.

Subdivision 4 requires districts to be compact and contiguous.

Subdivision 5 codifies the current scheme of numbering districts.

Subdivision 6 provides that the districts must not dilute minority populations.

Subdivision 7 prohibits local governments from being divided more than necessary.

Subdivision 8 requires the preservation of communities of interest (such as social, political cultural, ethnic, or economic interests).

Subdivision 9 requires that the districts encourage political competiveness.

Subdivision 10 states that districts must not be drawn to protect or defeat an incumbent.

Subdivision 11 provides that if it is not possible to comply with all principles, the principles are prioritized in the order that they are listed.

Section 2 establishes a redistricting commission.  

Subdivision 1 requires, by March 1 of each year ending in one, the majority leader of the senate, the minority leader of the senate, the speaker of the house, and the minority leader of the house to each appoint one retired judge who has not served in a party designated position. These four judges then select a fifth judge to be the final member of the commission.

Subdivisions 2, 3, and 4 provide that the commissioners are subject to the Code of Judicial Conduct and are compensated in the same manner as other state administrative boards and agencies. The Legislative Coordinating Commission must provide support to the commission.

Subdivision 5 requires the commission to adopt a schedule for submitting proposed plans to the commission and to respond to plans proposed by others. The commission must also adopt format standards for plans.

Subdivision 6 requires the commission to hold at least three public hearings in different areas of the state before adopting its first plan.

Subdivision 7 requires the commission to submit a plan to the legislature by April 30 of the year ending in one. The legislature may enact or reject the plan, but may not make modifications to it. If the plan is rejected, the commission must submit a second plan to the legislature within two weeks. The legislature may enact or reject the second plan, but may not make modifications to it. If the second plan is rejected, the commission must submit a third plan to the legislature within two weeks. The legislature may enact, reject, or amend the third plan. If the legislature has adjourned before a subsequent plan is submitted, the plan must be submitted at the start of the year ending in two. If the commission does not submit a plan by the first two deadlines, the legislature may proceed to enact its own plan.  A redistricting plan is subject to constitutional requirements for bills and presentment to the Governor.

Subdivision 8 specifies that the commission expires when redistricting plans are enacted into law or adopted by court order or upon adjournment sine die of the legislature in a year ending in two, whichever occurs first.

Section 3 repeals Minnesota Statutes, § 2.031, which provides the number of districts. The language of this statute is mirrored in section 1 of the bill.


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