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Assembly Bill 764 – Amends Existing Rules Related To Local Redistricting And Adds The Fair And Inclusive Redistricting For Municipalities And Politician Subdivisions (FAIR MAPS) Act Of 2023
Existing law requires county boards of education and governing boards of school districts and community college districts (local jurisdictions) in which trustee areas have been established to adopt new boundaries for their trustee areas following each federal decennial census. AB 764 revises and recasts provisions in the Education Code, Code of Civil Procedure, Elections Code and Government Code regarding local restricting rules for public agencies, including county boards of education, school districts, and community college districts.
AB 764 amends Education Code Section 1002, which identifies the responsibilities of county boards of education, and the criteria the county committee on school district organization shall follow when asked to change the boundaries of any or all of the trustee areas in the county, or proposes an increase or decrease in the number of members of the county board of education. The bill eliminates the criteria that could be considered by the committee when redrawing boundaries and now requires that boundaries be adopted in accordance with Chapter 2 of Division 21 of the Elections Code.
AB 764 also eliminates Education Code Section 5019.7, which stated that the redistricting requirements in Education Code Section 5019.5 do not apply to multiple campus community college districts with campuses in more than one county.
AB 764 adds the Fair and Inclusive Redistricting for Municipalities and Political Subdivisions Act of 2023, which establishes new requirements for redistricting. The new requirements consist of, but are not limited to, the following:
- Boundaries for redistricting occurring in 2031 and thereafter must be adopted no later than 204 days before the county or district’s next regular election occurring after January 1 in each year ending in the number two. If the redistricting body misses the deadline to adopt election maps, the redistricting body must petition the superior court within its local jurisdiction, within five days after the deadline, for an order adopting election district boundaries. If the redistricting body does not petition a superior court, a resident of the local jurisdiction may file the petition. If the Court grants the petition, the Court has the authority to appoint a special master to assist with adopting district boundaries. The local jurisdiction is responsible for paying the cost of a special master and any associated costs.
- Trustee areas shall be substantially equal in population as required by the United States Constitution.
- The redistricting body shall determine whether it is possible to create an election district or districts in which a minority group is sufficiently large and geographically compact to constitute a majority in a single-member district, as set forth in Thornburg v. Gingles (1986) 478 U.S. 30.
- If the redistricting body determines, after conducting an analysis, that racially polarized voting exists, the redistricting body must publish on its redistricting webpage a summary of its analysis and findings within seven days of completing the analysis or prior to adopting election district boundaries, whichever occurs first.
- New criteria applies when adopting election districts and provides an order of priority.
- Districts, except for small educational districts, must hold at least one public workshop before drawing a draft map.
- Districts, except for small educational districts, must hold at least three public hearings after drawing draft maps.
- At least two workshops or public hearings shall be held on a Saturday, Sunday, or after 6 p.m. on a weekday.
- Five public hearings must be held before adopting district boundaries. Hearings held by an advisory or hybrid redistricting commission must comply with the same requirements applicable to hearings held by the districting body.
- The district’s governing body must adopt a redistricting public education and outreach plan at least four weeks before holding its first hearing or workshop. Elections Code Section 21160 identifies additional requirements for the public education and outreach plan.
- The district must establish and maintain an accessible internet web page dedicated to redistricting that provides the public with information related to redistricting, including copies of draft maps, workshop or public hearing notices, and other information. The webpage must be made available prior to holding its first workshop or public hearing.
- The redistricting web page must make available the following information available within the specified time frames:
- Recordings or written summaries of oral public comments made at workshops or public hearings, within 14 days of a workshop or public hearing. The information must also be made available 72 hours before holding the first of its final two workshops or public hearings; and
- Public written comments and draft maps, no later than 14 days after receipt. All public written comments and draft maps received within four business days must also be made available 72 hours before holding the first of its final two workshops or public hearings.
- Within 21 days of adopting the final election district maps, the district’s body must issue a report that explains the basis on which the districting body made its decisions in achieving compliance with the requirements and criteria listed in Election Code Section 21130, subdivision (c).
The bill requires the Secretary of State to develop templates for the web pages and to provide redistricting training for local jurisdictions. This bill also requires the Secretary of State to make available to the public a free electronic mapping tool.
(AB 764 repeals Section 1005 and 5019.7, amends Section 1002, 5019, 5019.5, 5021, 5023, 5027, 5028, and adds Section 1005, 5020 to the Education Code. The bill also repeals, amends, and adds various Sections to the Code of Civil Procedure, Government Code, and Elections Code.)