Newsom Vetoes Redistricting Legislation

A bill that would have required independent commissions to redraw supervisor districts in counties with over 400,000 residents has been vetoed by Gavin Newsom, keeping the matter in the hands of county leaders for now.

“While I agree (independent) commissions can be an important tool in preventing gerrymandering, local jurisdictions are already authorized to establish independent, advisory or hybrid redistricting commissions,” the governor wrote in his veto message for SB 139. “Moreover, this measure constitutes a clear mandate for which the state may be required to reimburse counties pursuant to the California Constitution and should therefore be considered in the annual budget process.”

That explanation echoed concerns from the California State Association of Counties

“Counties appreciate the value and importance of a fair redistricting process and the goal of equitable representation in all levels of governance,” the CSAC wrote. “However, this measure, which would impact up to 22 counties, is concerning because of the state’s unwillingness to provide the funding required to implement the independent commissions. The provisions of the bill constitute a clear mandate for which the state will be required to reimburse counties, as required by the Constitution, but past experience indicates the state will try to avoid paying mandated costs by suspending the mandate.”

Read more at the Press Enterprise