130th Ohio General Assembly
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Sub. S. J. R. No. 5  As Reported by the Senate State and Local Government and Veterans Affairs Committee
As Reported by the Senate State and Local Government and Veterans Affairs Committee

129th General Assembly
Regular Session
2011-2012
Sub. S. J. R. No. 5


Senators Sawyer, LaRose 

Cosponsors: Senators Turner, Faber 



A JOINT RESOLUTION
Proposing to enact new Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 of Article XI and to repeal Sections 13, 14, and 15 of Article XI of the Constitution of the State of Ohio to revise the redistricting process for General Assembly and Congressional districts.



       Be it resolved by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio, three-fifths of the members elected to each house concurring herein, that there shall be submitted to the electors of the state, in the manner prescribed by law at the general election to be held on November 5, 2013, a proposal to enact new Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 of Article XI of the Constitution of the State of Ohio to read as follows:

ARTICLE XI

1.  (A) The Ohio redistricting commission shall be responsible for the redistricting of this state for congress and the general assembly. The commission shall consist of the following seven members:

       (1) The governor;

       (2) The auditor of state;

       (3) The secretary of state;

       (4) One person appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives;

       (5) One person appointed by the legislative leader of the largest political party in the house of representatives of which the speaker of the house of representatives is not a member;

       (6) One person appointed by the president of the senate; and

       (7) One person appointed by the legislative leader of the largest political party in the senate of which the president of the senate is not a member.

       No appointed member of the commission shall be a current member of the general assembly or of congress.

       (B) Unless otherwise specified in this article, a simple majority of the commission members shall be required for any action by the commission. The affirmative vote of five members of the commission, including at least one member of the commission who is a member of a political party other than the largest one represented on the commission, shall be required to adopt any plan.

       (C) At the first meeting of the commission, which the governor shall convene only in a year ending in the numeral one, except as provided in Section 11 of this article, the members shall select co-chairpersons, one of whom shall be a member of a political party other than the largest one represented on the commission, and set a schedule for the adoption of procedural rules for the operation of the commission.

       Not later than the fifteenth day of September of a year ending in the numeral one, the commission shall release to the public a proposed plan for the boundaries for each of the ninety-nine house of representatives districts and the thirty-three senate districts, and a proposed plan for the prescribed number of congressional districts as apportioned to the state pursuant to Section 2 of Article 1 of the constitution of the United States. The commission shall draft each proposed plan in the manner prescribed in this article. Before adopting, but after introducing, a final congressional or general assembly district plan, the commission shall conduct a minimum of three public hearings across the state and shall seek public input regarding the proposed plans. All meetings of the commission shall be open to the public. Meetings shall be broadcast by electronic means of transmission using a medium readily accessible by the general public, subject to the discretion of the commission.

       The commission shall adopt final plans not earlier than the last week of October of a year ending in the numeral one but not later than the second week of November of a year ending in the numeral one. After the commission adopts a plan, the commission shall file the plan with the secretary of state. Upon filing with the secretary of state, the plan shall become effective.

       Not more than six weeks after the adoption of a congressional plan and a general assembly plan, the co-chairpersons of the commission shall jointly dissolve the commission.

       (D) The general assembly shall be responsible for making the appropriations it determines necessary in order for the commission to perform its duties under this article.

       (E) The attorney general shall be responsible for defending a plan adopted by the commission in any legal action arising from the process described in this article.

2.  Each congressional district shall be entitled to a single representative in the United States house of representatives in each congress. Each house of representatives district shall be entitled to a single representative in each general assembly. Each senate district shall be entitled to a single senator in each general assembly.

3.  (A) The whole population of the state, as determined by the federal decennial census or, if such is unavailable, such other basis as the general assembly may direct, shall be divided by the number "ninety-nine" and by the number "thirty-three" and the quotients shall be the ratio of representation in the house of representatives and in the senate, respectively, for ten years next succeeding such redistricting.

       (B) The population of each house of representatives district shall be substantially equal to the ratio of representation in the house of representatives, and the population of each senate district shall be substantially equal to the ratio of representation in the senate, as provided in division (A) of this section. In no event shall any district contain a population of less than ninety-five per cent nor more than one hundred five per cent of the applicable ratio of representation, except as otherwise provided in division (B) of Section 6 of this article.

4.  (A) Any plan adopted by the commission shall comply with all applicable provisions of the constitutions of Ohio and the United States and of federal law.

       (B) No individual district shall be drawn primarily with the intent to favor or disfavor a political party.

       (C)(1) Every congressional and general assembly district shall be compact and composed of contiguous territory, and the boundary of each district shall be a single nonintersecting continuous line.

       (2) The commission shall avoid splitting political subdivisions. As used in this section and Sections 6 and 9 of this article, "political subdivision" means a county, a municipal corporation, a township, or a municipal ward.

        (a) Dividing a noncontiguous political subdivision shall not be considered splitting the political subdivision if its noncontiguous portions are included in separate districts. However, dividing a noncontiguous political subdivision shall be considered splitting the political subdivision if any noncontiguous portion is divided into separate districts.

        (b) Dividing, along a county line, a political subdivision that has territory in more than one county shall not be considered splitting the political subdivision.

       (D) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this article, where it is necessary to divide political subdivisions, only two political subdivisions, other than a county, may be divided per house of representatives district.

       (E) Subject to all other requirements of this article, the commission shall preserve together whole suburban, urban, and rural communities that share similar characteristics.

5.  A county having at least one house of representatives ratio of representation shall have as many house of representatives districts wholly within the boundaries of the county as it has whole ratios of representation. Any fraction of the population in excess of a whole ratio shall be a part of only one adjoining house of representatives district.

       The number of whole ratios of representation for a county shall be determined by dividing the population of the county by the ratio of representation for the house of representatives determined under Section 3 of this article.

6.  The standards prescribed in this section and Sections 3, 4, and 5 of this article shall govern the establishment of house of representatives districts, which shall be created and numbered in the following order to the extent that such order is consistent with the foregoing standards:

       (A) Each county containing population substantially equal to one ratio of representation in the house of representatives, as provided in Section 3 of this article, but in no event less than ninety-five per cent of the ratio nor more than one hundred five per cent of the ratio, shall be designated a representative district.

       (B) Each county containing population between ninety and ninety-five per cent of the ratio or between one hundred five and one hundred ten per cent of the ratio may be designated a representative district.

       (C)(1) If political subdivisions must be divided in order to create the remaining representative districts, those districts shall be formed by combining the whole areas of political subdivisions, beginning with the political subdivisions with the smallest populations and proceeding to the largest.

       (2) Proceeding in succession from the largest to the smallest, each remaining county containing more than one whole ratio of representation shall be divided into house of representatives districts. Any remaining territory within such county containing a fraction of one whole ratio of representation shall be included in one representative district by combining it with adjoining territory outside the county.

       (3) Of the remaining territory of the state, where feasible, multiple whole counties shall be combined as single representative districts.

       (4) Of the remaining territory of the state, the commission shall draw the boundary lines of representative districts as to delineate an area containing at least one whole county and the necessary additional territory.

       (D) The remaining territory of the state shall be combined into representative districts.

7.  Senate districts shall be composed of three contiguous house of representatives districts. A county having at least one whole senate ratio of representation shall have as many senate districts wholly within the boundaries of the county as it has whole senate ratios of representation. Any fraction of the population in excess of a whole ratio shall be a part of only one adjoining senate district. Counties having less than one senate ratio of representation, but at least one house of representatives ratio of representation shall be part of only one senate district.

       The number of whole ratios of representation for a county shall be determined by dividing the population of the county by the ratio of representation in the senate determined under Section 3 of this article.

       Senate districts shall be numbered from one through thirty-three and as provided in Section 10 of this article.

8.  The standards prescribed in this section and Section 4 of this article shall govern the establishment of congressional districts, which shall be created in the following order so long as such order is consistent with the foregoing standards:

       (A) The whole population of the state, as determined by the federal decennial census, shall be divided by the number of congressional districts apportioned to the state pursuant to Section 2 of Article I of the constitution of the United States, and the quotient shall be the congressional ratio of representation for ten years next succeeding such apportionment.

       (B) The number of whole ratios of representation for a county shall be determined by dividing the population of the county by the congressional ratio of representation.

       (C) Proceeding in succession from the largest to the smallest, each county containing more than one whole ratio of representation shall be divided into the appropriate number of congressional districts, as that county contains whole ratios of representation.

       (D) The remaining territory of the state shall be combined into congressional districts.

9.  Notwithstanding the fact that boundaries of political subdivisions within a district may be changed, district boundaries shall be created by using the boundaries of political subdivisions as they exist at the time of the federal decennial census on which the redistricting is based, or, if unavailable, on such other basis as the general assembly has directed.

10.  At any time the boundaries of senate districts are changed in any plan of redistricting made pursuant to any provision of this article, a senator whose term will not expire within two years of the time the plan of redistricting is made shall represent, for the remainder of the term for which the senator was elected, the senate district which contains the largest portion of the population of the district from which the senator was elected, and the district shall be given the number of the district from which the senator was elected. If more than one senator whose term will not so expire would represent the same district by following the provisions of this section, the commission shall designate which senator shall represent the district and shall designate which district the other senator or senators shall represent for the balance of their term or terms.

11.  (A) The supreme court of Ohio shall have exclusive, original jurisdiction in all cases arising under this article.

       (B) In the event that any section of this constitution relating to redistricting or any plan of redistricting made by the Ohio redistricting commission is determined to be invalid by an unappealed final order of a court of competent jurisdiction then, notwithstanding any other provisions of this constitution, the commission shall reconvene to ascertain and determine a plan of redistricting in conformity with such provisions of this constitution as are then valid, including establishing terms of office and election of members of the general assembly from districts designated in the plan, to be used until the next regular redistricting in conformity with such provisions of this constitution as are then valid.

       (C) Notwithstanding any provision of this constitution or any law regarding the residence of senators and representatives, a plan of redistricting made pursuant to this section shall allow thirty days for persons to change residence in order to be eligible for election.

       (D) No court shall order, in any circumstance, the implementation or enforcement of any plan that has not been approved by the commission in the manner prescribed by this article.

12.  The various provisions of this article are intended to be severable, and the invalidity of one or more of such provisions shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions.

EFFECTIVE DATE AND REPEAL

       If adopted by a majority of the electors voting on this proposal, new Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 of Article XI take effect January 1, 2021 and existing Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 of Article XI and Sections 13, 14, and 15 of Article XI of the Constitution of the State of Ohio are repealed from that effective date.

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