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Legislative Service Commission
126th General Assembly
Reps. Driehaus, Healy, S. Patton, Ujvagi, Fende, Williams, Boccieri, Chandler, Yuko, S. Smith, Sayre, Brown, Hartnett, DeGeeter, Strahorn, Miller, Allen, Distel, Cassell, Otterman, Carano, Woodard, Domenick, Harwood, Koziura, Mitchell, Key, Skindell, Barrett, Beatty, Book, DeBose, Garrison, Mason, Perry, Redfern, D. Stewart, Sykes, Yates
Submits to the voters of the state, at the November 8, 2005, general election, a proposal to amend the Ohio Constitution to change the composition and duties of the Apportionment Board.
Requires the Apportionment Board to be comprised of five members of the public, four of which are appointed by the leaders in both houses of the Ohio General Assembly, with the fifth member elected by the first four.
Requires the Apportionment Board to apportion the state for both General Assembly districts and Congressional districts.
CONTENT AND OPERATION
Apportionment Board, generally
The Ohio Constitution provides for the establishment of the Apportionment Board in each year ending in "1." During that year, the members of the Board are required to meet and to apportion, according to specified criteria, the state into districts for the Ohio Senate and the Ohio House of Representatives for the following ten years. (Ohio Constitution, Article XI, Sections 1 and 6.) The resolution would submit to the voters of Ohio, at the general election held on November 8, 2005, a proposal to change the composition and duties of the Apportionment Board.
Composition of the Apportionment Board
Section 1 of Article XI of the Ohio Constitution specifies the composition of the Apportionment Board. Currently, it is comprised of the Governor, the Auditor of State, the Secretary of State, one person chosen by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the leader in the Senate of the political party of which the Speaker is a member, and one person chosen by the legislative leaders in the two houses of the General Assembly of the major political party of which the Speaker is not a member. (Ohio Constitution, Article XI, Section 1.)
The resolution proposes changing the composition of the Apportionment Board. Under the resolution, five members of the public would be responsible for apportioning the state. Not later than January 31 in the year 2011, and in every tenth year thereafter, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate, the Senate Minority Leader, and the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives each would appoint one member of the public to the Apportionment Board. Within 60 days after the last of those appointments is made, the four appointed members would elect the fifth member by majority vote. (Ohio Constitution, Article XI, Section 1.)
Duties of the Apportionment Board
The Ohio Constitution currently requires the Apportionment Board to apportion the state for members of the General Assembly. The Constitution includes detailed criteria for the establishment of General Assembly districts, such as requiring the districts to be contiguous and to contain certain percentages of the state population (Ohio Constitution, Article XI, Sections 2, 3, 4, 7, and 11). The Board is required to convene on a date designated by the Governor between August 1 and October 1 in each year ending in "1," and the Governor must cause the apportionment to be published not later than October 5 (Ohio Constitution, Article XI, Section 1).
The resolution would create an additional responsibility for the Apportionment Board--apportioning the state into Congressional districts.
Under existing law, the General Assembly establishes Congressional district boundaries in statute. The resolution, if adopted, would require the Apportionment Board to apportion the state for Representatives to Congress, with the districts established in accordance with all applicable laws of the United States and this state and applicable judicial decisions. The schedule for the Congressional apportionment would match the schedule for the apportionment of the state for General Assembly members. (Ohio Constitution, Article XI, Section 1.)
Because the Apportionment Board, under the resolution, would have authority with respect to both General Assembly and Congressional districts, the resolution makes clarifying changes regarding the criteria for apportioning the state and the role of the Ohio Supreme Court in reviewing apportionment plans. The resolution clarifies that the specific criteria already in the Ohio Constitution for the establishment of General Assembly districts applies only to those districts, and not to the establishment of Congressional districts (Ohio Constitution, Article XI, Section 6). Similarly, the resolution specifies that the Ohio Supreme Court has exclusive, original jurisdiction in all cases relating to the apportionment of the state into General Assembly districts (Ohio Constitution, Article XI, Section 13).
Other than changing the composition of the Apportionment Board, the resolution would not change the process of, or criteria and deadlines for, apportioning the state into General Assembly districts.