Colorado Redistricting Commissions
Section 1 of the act repeals the existing statutory criteria for congressional districts.
Sections 2 to 13 of the act establish statutory provisions concerning congressional districts established by the new independent congressional redistricting commission (congressional commission) and update the existing statutory provisions related to the independent legislative redistricting commission (legislative commission), including:
- Stating the general assembly's intent that the congressional commission and legislative commission (commissions) apply the correct federal citation to the "Voting Rights Act of 1965" rather than the incorrect citation contained in the Colorado constitution;
- Requiring the legislative commission to designate which year an election for each senate district takes place and to specify from which district a new senator is elected when there is a vacancy in a senatorial district;
- Requiring the commissions to provide maps of the proposed and final congressional and legislative districts to county clerks, the Colorado supreme court, and the secretary of state;
- Requiring boards of county commissioners to approve new precinct boundaries and to notify the secretary of state and major party chairs of the new precinct boundaries;
- Specifying how the secretary of state may correct a redistricting plan if an approved plan fails to include property in any district, includes property in more than one district, or splits a residential parcel;
- Specifying that the boundaries of a district approved in a redistricting plan do not change if there is a change in a county or municipal boundary; and
- Requiring the secretary of state to provide maps of districts to candidates.
Section 14 of the act requires the commissions to use the total population used by the federal census bureau in reapportioning the seats in congress as adjusted by nonpartisan staff to move certain prisoners from being counted in the prison.
Section 15 of the act creates separate accounts within the legislative department cash fund (cash fund) for each of the commissions and transfers money from the cash fund to each of the commissions to pay for their work.
Sections 16 to 18 of the act make conforming amendments to update the statutes on the redistricting account in the legislative cash fund, the "Colorado Open Records Act", and duties of county commissioners to reflect the congressional and legislative commissions.
Sections 19 to 25 of the act contain nonstatutory provisions relating to the commissions as required by the state constitution, including:
- Appointing nonpartisan staff to assist the commissions;
- Directing staff to prepare forms for and review applications from persons interested in serving on the commissions and assisting the panels of retired justices and judges who appoint members of the commissions;
- Assembling the necessary hardware, software, and information necessary for the commissions and nonpartisan staff to redistrict congressional and legislative districts; and
- Establishing the necessary procedures for the judicial panels, commissions, and nonpartisan staff to receive a per diem and reimbursement of expenses.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)