Bill Summary for H 285 (2015-2016)

Summary date: 

Mar 18 2015

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2015-2016 Session
House Bill 285 (Public) Filed Wednesday, March 18, 2015
AN ACT TO CODIFY REDISTRICTING PRINCIPLES ESTABLISHED BY THE NORTH CAROLINA SUPREME COURT IN STEPHENSON V. BARTLETT.
Intro. by Jones.

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Bill summary

Enacts new Article 12B, Redistricting, in GS Chapter 163. Requires that legislative districts: (1) must be single-member districts, (2) not be drawn to encompass a population that is more than 5% greater than the ideal population or more than 5% less than the ideal population (ideal population is defined in the act as the number determined by dividing the number of members in a plan into the population of the state as reported in the federal census), and (3) be compact and preserve communities of interest to the maximum extent possible. Specifies that the following apply with respect to the Whole County Provision: (1) majority‑minority districts required for compliance with section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 must be drawn before any other district; and requires the General Assembly, in drawing Voting Rights Act districts, to, to the maximum extent practicable, comply with the Whole County Provision and (2) after the drawing of districts required under subdivision (1) requires that districts shall be drawn as follows: (a) in every instance in which a single county has sufficient population to form one district, a district must be formed consisting entirely of that single county; (b) in every instance in which a single county can form two or more districts of sufficient population, those districts must be formed within that single county; (c) in every instance when contiguous whole counties can be grouped to form districts of sufficient population, the minimum number of counties to achieve sufficient population must be grouped; and (d) county boundaries within a grouping may be crossed to create a district, but only to the extent necessary to achieve sufficient population.

Requires that all United States House of Representatives districts be single‑member districts and that they be drawn as nearly equal as practicable to the ideal population.

Prohibits county commissioners, city councils, or local boards of education districts from being drawn to encompass a population that is more 5% greater than the ideal population or more than 5% less than the ideal population.

In addition to ideal population, the act defines minority-majority district, sufficient population, Voting Rights Act district, and Whole County Provision

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