SENATE COMMITTEE ON RULES

 

May 23, 2005                                                                                                          Hearing Room B

3:00 P.M.                                                                                                                     Tapes  79 - 80

Corrected 10/27/05

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Kate Brown, Chair

Sen. Ted Ferrioli, Vice-Chair

Sen. Jason Atkinson

Sen. Charlie Ringo

Sen. Frank Shields

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Tiffany Harris, Committee Administrator

Dawn Tuso, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:          

SJR 32 – Public Hearing

SJR 33  – Public Hearing

Approval of Drafting Request - Work Session

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 79, A

003

Chair Brown

Calls meeting to order at 3:05 p.m.

010

Tiffany Harris

Committee Administrator. Gives overview of SJR 32 and SJR 33.

018

Chair Brown

Calls Thomas Mann on the conference phone.

030

Thomas Mann

Brookings Institution. Introduces himself and offers background information.

038

Chair Brown

Asks Mr. Mann if he has a copy of SJR 32 and SJR 33.

039

Mann

Replies yes.

040

Chair Brown

Opens public hearing on SJR 32 and SJR 33.

SJR 32 & SJR 33 – PUBLIC HEARING

041

Chair Brown

Asks Mr. Mann to talk about redistricting trends across the country.

042

Mann

Discusses trends in redistricting across the country.

111

Chair Brown

Clarifies what Mr. Mann means by saying “constrain the process”.

113

Mann

Replies yes and further explains what he means by saying “constrain the process”.

132

Chair Brown

Asks for more information regarding Iowa’s process.

134

Mann

Discusses the process in Iowa.

179

Sen. Ringo

Asks Mr. Mann to comment on his opinion regarding appointing judges as special masters.

189

Mann

Comments on appointing judges as special masters.

240

Sen. Ringo

Asks if there are twenty-four special masters or if there are three special masters.

244

Mann

Replies that the initial pool consists of twenty-four special masters and that three special masters are selected from that pool.

246

Sen. Ringo

Asks if the priorities are given literal interpretation.

256

Mann

Explains.

280

Sen. Ringo

Asks for Mr. Mann’s recommendation regarding whether or not to provide information to the decision makers.

286

Mann

Offers opinion.

307

Sen. Ringo

Asks question regarding comment about New Jersey.

310

Mann

Explains.

325

Chair Brown

Asks what kind of redistricting process Nebraska has.

327

Mann

Replies that he is not sure. Offers information regarding Nebraska’s legislature.

348

Curtis Gans

Director, Committee of the Study of the American Electorate. Introduces himself and offers background information. Discusses redistricting.

TAPE 80, A

001

Gans

Continues discussion on redistricting.

035

Chair Brown

Asks why he feels parties are important and why parties do not contribute to partisanship.

038

Gans

Replies that parties do contribute to partisanship.

050

Chair Brown

Asks about comment that the way districts are drawn and the voter turn out has increased polarization.

052

Gans

Responds.

063

Chair Brown

Asks if there are specific principles that should be used in establishing criteria for redistricting plans.

067

Gans

Replies.

074

Sen. Ringo

Asks about self political segregation.

090

Gans

Responds to comment.

105

Sen. Ringo

Comments on the red blue map.

106

Gans

Comments that he does not believe the red blue map. Talks about the rekindling of politics of shared values rather than of divided values.

128

Sen. Ferrioli

Talks about major population centers and comments that there is an urban rural divide.

155

Gans

Responds to comments.

173

Chair Brown

Clarifies Sen. Ferrioli’s comment.

178

Gans

Asks if they are talking about a statewide level or a statewide level of the legislature.

180

Sen. Ferrioli

Clarifies that the question of interest is in regards to a concentrated political power in a population base in certain states across America.  

184

Chair Brown

Disputes Sen. Ferrioli’s comment.

187

Gans

Asks if they are talking about a statewide election because it is the character of the candidates that has been determinative.

189

Chair Brown

Asks is he really believes that.

190

Gans

Replies absolutely.

195

Chair Brown

Asks if it is true in Washington as well.

196

Gans

Replies that it is less true in Washington than it is in Oregon or California.

202

Chair Brown

Asks if he would agree with the two criteria, fairness and competitiveness.

205

Gans

Replies yes, in addition to compact and contiguous.

206

Chair Brown

Asks what the benefits are of compactness and contiguousness.

207

Gans

Discusses the benefits.

211

Chair Brown

Asks how to make sure that minorities are represented in the legislature.

216

Gans

Responds.

238

Chair Brown

Calls John Giese on the conference phone.

254

Giese

Senior Vice-President, Rockey Hill and Knowlton. Introduces himself and offers background information.

275

Chair Brown

Asks if he has had a continuing position on the commission.

276

Giese

Replies no. Discusses redistricting efforts.

296

Chair Brown

Clarifies that it is a temporary service.

298

Giese

Replies yes.

301

Chair Brown

Asks what prompted Washington to move toward nonpartisan redistricting commissions two decades earlier than the rest of the country.

307

Giese

Explains.

333

Chair Brown

Asks if Washington has two members of each party and an independent member.

337

Giese

Explains. Comments that the chair of the committee is a non voting member.

349

Chair Brown

Asks about the practicalities of staffing. Asks if the legislative staff primarily staffs the commission.

352

Giese

Replies yes, but not solely and explains.

366

Chair Brown

Asks what criteria the commission is required to use.

368

Giese

Explains the two sets of criteria used by the commission.

403

Chair Brown

Asks about decreasing polarization in the legislative process. Asks for Washington to be used as an example.

TAPE 79, B

001

Giese

Offers observations.

016

Chair Brown

Asks if he means polarization.

022

Giese

Replies yes.

026

Chair Brown

Asks if the structure of  two members from each party and one non voting Chair in effect has the impact of protecting incumbents.

029

Giese

Responds.

063

Chair Brown

Clarifies that he is saying that it is truly a partisan process so lets make it a fair one.

065

Giese

Replies yes.

078

Sen. Ferrioli

Expresses appreciation for testimony. Comments on the idea that redistricting redistributes political power.

100

Giese

Stresses having a process that is transparent to the public.  

109

Chair Brown

Thanks Giese for his testimony.

126

Andi Miller

Executive Director, Common Cause Oregon. Testifies in support of SJR 32 and SJR 33. Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT A) and submits Common Cause redistricting guidelines (EXHIBIT B).

150

David Buchanan

Common Cause. Testifies on SJR 32 and SJR 33.

172

Norman Turrill

State Board Member, Common Cause. Testifies on SJR 32 and SJR 33.

218

Chair Brown

Makes comment.

226

Turrill

Comments that they have term limits in Washington state.

231

Buchanan

Comments on another factor in Washington state.

239

Chair Brown

Asks if he agrees with the analysis that the districts are at least competitive.  

242

Buchanan

Replies yes.

244

Turrill

Agrees and offers comment.

268

Chair Brown

Explains reason for questioning term limits in Washington.

274

Buchanan

Comments that Oregon had a short experience in multimember districts in the 1960’s.

290

Chair Brown

Asks how nonpartisan redistricting will help women and people of color get elected to legislatures and diversify us. 

298

Buchanan

Replies that he does not think it will help.

307

Sen. Ferrioli

Comments that it seems that Washington has realized that partisanship cannot be taken out of politics. Says that it makes more sense to acknowledge the reality of partisanship in politics and figure out a way to make the process more fair.

320

Turrill

Responds to comments.

350

Sen. Ferrioli

Comments that there are two versions.

355

Buchanan

Makes comment.

365

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks question regarding comment that the commission should be incumbent blind.

373

Turrill

Responds to question. Replies that districts can be tailored through the use of technology.

406

Chair Brown

Asks if one-third is a good portion for competitive seats in the Oregon Senate.

411

Buchanan

Comments on competitiveness.

TAPE 80, B

006

Sen. Ferrioli

Comments that there is a complication in the equation discussed.

008

Miller

Responds to question and comments on the issue discussed.

017

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks how to convince someone that redistricting someone out of their district was not intentional.

026

Buchanan

Comments that the blindness is a troubling issue.

040

Turrill

Responds to Sen. Ferrioli’s question.

046

Buchanan

Comments on another factor regarding incumbents.

057

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks about communities of interest.

062

Buchanan

Comments that it is a vague and virtually meaningless concept.

068

Chair Brown

Offers example of a community of interest.

076

Buchanan

Responds that the community of interest is caught up in the order that districts are drawn.

082

Sen. Ferrioli

Comments on a community of interest.

085

Turrill

Discusses  hierarchy of criteria that should be applied when looking at  communities of interest.

095

Chair Brown

Comments on diverse populations that live near one another.

099

Turrill

Says that neighborhoods in Portland are divided by freeways.

103

Miller

Thanks the members for allowing them to testify.

107

Chair Brown

Says that she has counted twelve or thirteen very competitive Senate districts.

110

Miller

Comments on motivation for redistricting.

125

Bruce Miller

Assistant Staff Counsel, Office of State Court Administrator. Testifies on SJR 32 and SJR 33.

147

Chair Brown

Asks if judges knowing that they will be tied up in redistricting will have an impact on their opinions or ability to settle cases.

151

B. Miller

Responds that it would only apply to retired judges.

154

Chair Brown

Asks about retired judges who are still working.

157

B. Miller

Replies yes.

162

Chair Brown

Comments on using retired judges and whether or not it is fair to them.

167

Sen. Ringo

Points out that some retired judges make good money by doing arbitration, etc. and that being committed to redistricting could potentially take away from good financial opportunities.  

170

Sen. Ringo

Asks whether there should be a requirement for geographical distribution in the pool of judges.

175

B. Miller

Responds to comment.

179

Chair Brown

Closes public hearing on SJR 32 and SJR 33. Committee stands at ease at 4:44 p.m. Calls committee back to order at 4:45 p.m. Opens work session for consideration of request for drafting and introduction.

APPROVAL OF DRAFTING REQUEST – WORK SESSION

182

Chair Brown

Reviews request for drafting (EXHIBIT C)

185

Chair Brown

MOTION:  Moves one drafting request be approved for drafting by Legislative Counsel and BE INTRODUCED as a committee bill.

 

 

VOTE:  3-0-2

EXCUSED:  2 - Sen. Atkinson, Sen. Shields

 

Chair Brown

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

189

Chair Brown

Closes work session and adjourns meeting at 4:46 p.m.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A.     SJR 32 & SJR 33, written testimony, Andi Miller, 4 pp

B.     SJR 32 & SJR 33, guidelines, Andi Miller, 2 pp

C.     Approval of drafting and introduction requests, memorandum, Sen. Kate Brown, 1 p