HBA-KMH S.J.R. 20 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.J.R. 20 By: Duncan Criminal Jurisprudence 5/10/1999 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Since 1876, Texas' district courts have not been comprehensively redistricted, and the legislature has added 361 courts in a piecemeal fashion since the original redistricting 123 years ago. In 1985, Texans amended their constitution to create a mechanism to provide for periodic judicial redistricting, making the Judicial Districts Board responsible for reapportionment of judicial districts, if the legislature fails to do so. However, the Judicial Districts Board's work has not been addressed by the legislature. S.J.R. 20 gives Texas voters the choice to abolish the Judicial Districts Board, and creates the Legislative Redistricting Board. As proposed, S.J.R. 20 requires the submission to the voters of a constitutional amendment to abolish the Judicial Districts Board, and to grant the Legislative Redistricting Board the authority to make statewide reapportionments of judicial districts. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Section 7a, Article V, Texas Constitution, as follows: Sec. 7a. Requires the Legislative Redistricting Board to make a statewide reapportionment of the judicial districts authorized by Article V, Section 7, as provided by this section. Clarifies the dates by which the legislature must enact a statewide reapportionment of judicial districts. Deletes text creating the Judicial Districts Board (JDB) and assigning its duties. Deletes text describing the membership of JDB. Deletes text describing the authority and prohibitions of JDB. Deletes text specifying consequences of JDB's failure to make a statewide reapportionment by a certain date. Deletes text authorizing JDB to reapportion the judicial districts of the state as the necessity for reapportionment appears by redesignating the county or counties that comprise the specific judicial districts affected by those reapportionment orders. Deletes text prohibiting a county having a population as large or larger than the population of the judicial district being reapportioned from being added to the judicial district, in modifying any judicial district. Deletes text providing that any judicial reapportionment order adopted by the board must be approved by a record vote of the majority of the membership of both the senate and house of representatives before such order can become effective and binding. Makes conforming and nonsubstantive changes. SECTION 2. Requires this constitutional amendment to be submitted to the voters at an election to be held on November 2, 1999. Sets forth the required language for the ballot.