WEST virginia legislature
2021 regular session
House Joint Resolution 5
By Delegates Fleischauer, Boggs, Pethtel and Hansen
11, 2021; Referred
to the Committee on Political Subdivisions then Judiciary]
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of West Virginia, amending article IV thereof, by adding thereto a new section, designated section thirteen, relating to the arrangement of Congressional, Senatorial and Delegate Districts after census by creating a State Apportionment Commission; designating for appointment, terms of office, duties of and eligibility for commissioners; establishing process for Commission to develop plans; providing that State Apportionment Commission must submit redistricting plans to each house; providing that each house may reject its plan by a two-thirds vote of the members elected; numbering and designating the proposed amendment; and providing a summarized statement of the purpose of such proposed amendments.
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia, two thirds of the members elected to each house agreeing thereto:
That the question of ratification or rejection of an amendment to the Constitution of the State of West Virginia be submitted to the voters of the state at the next general election to be held in 2022, which proposed amendment is that article IV thereof be amended by adding a new section thereto, designated section 13, to read as follows:
ARTICLE IV. ELECTIONS AND OFFICERS.
§13. State Apportionment Commission.
No later than thirty days from the time the census data is available from the United States Government, or if a reapportionment is required by court order, a State Apportionment Commission shall be constituted. The commission shall consist of nine members. The President of the State Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates shall each select two members. Members of each house belonging to a party or parties different from that of the President or the Speaker shall designate two members of the commission. The eight members so selected, shall within ten days of all eight members being selected, shall select a ninth member, who shall serve as chair of the commission. If the eight members fail to select a qualified person to serve as the ninth member, the Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court shall select the ninth member.
Members of the Legislature and officers and employees of the state or of any county, municipality or other governmental unit of the state are not eligible to serve on the commission. Each commissioner member must be a citizen of this state for at least ten years prior to appointment. The term of each member of the commission expires upon submission of the commission’s proposed apportionment legislation to the Legislature.
The commission shall apportion Congressional Districts pursuant to §4 of Article I of this Constitution and Senatorial and Delegate Districts pursuant to §10, Article VI of this Constitution.
Prior to submission of the bill by the commission, the commission shall hold no less than a total of five public hearings, with one hearing being held in each of the various regions of the state. The bill submitted to the Legislature by the commission shall conform to the United States Constitution, West Virginia Constitution, and case law governing redistricting.
No later than ninety days from the time the census data is available from the United States, the arrangement of Senatorial and Delegate Districts shall be presented to the Legislature in a bill submitted for introduction in each house at the request of the commission. In order to consider any other measure providing for the arrangement of the Congressional, Senatorial and Delegate Districts, each house of the Legislature must consider without amendment and reject by two-thirds vote of those elected in each house the bill relating to that house as proposed by the commission. All voting on the floor of both houses on the question of passage of any general law shall be by yeas and nays to be entered on the journals. If either house rejects the bill, then the Legislature may consider any other measure and enact legislation that otherwise comports to the requirements of this and the United States Constitutions.
Resolved further, That in accordance with the provisions of §3-11-1 et seq. of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, such proposed amendment is hereby numbered "Amendment No. 1" and designated as the “State Apportionment Commission” and the purpose of the proposed amendment is summarized as follows: “To allow citizens to participate directly in the formation of congressional and legislative districts by creating a nonpartisan citizen commission which will hold public hearings around the state and present a redistricting bill to the Legislature.”
NOTE: The purpose of this resolution is to propose an amendment to the State Constitution that would allow citizens to participate directly in the formation of legislative districts by creating a nonpartisan citizen commission which will hold public hearings around the state and present a redistricting bill to the Legislature.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present Constitution, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.