MINUTES OF THE
Thursday, August 9, 2001 - 9:00 a.m. - Room 129 State Capitol
Sen. Michael G. Waddoups, Chair
Rep. Gerry A. Adair, Chair
Sen. Ron Allen
Sen. Beverly Evans
Sen. Pete Suazo
Sen. John L. Valentine
Rep. Chad E. Bennion
Rep. Ron Bigelow
Rep. Jackie Biskupski
Rep. Katherine M. Bryson
Rep. Don E. Bush
Rep. Brent H. Goodfellow
Rep. James R. Gowans
Rep. Wayne A. Harper
Rep. Loraine T. Pace
Rep. Jack A. Seitz
Rep. LaWanna Shurtliff
Rep. Glenn L. Way
Rep. Patrice M. Arent
Rep. Thomas V. Hatch
Mr. Stewart E. Smith, Redistricting Team Manager
Mr. John L. Fellows, Associate General Counsel
Mr. John Q. Cannon, Research Analyst
Mr. Jerry D. Howe, Research Analyst
Mr. Richard C. North, Research Analyst
Mr. Joseph T. Wade, Research Analyst
Ms. Alicia Gambles, Legislative Secretary
1. Call to Order
Chair Waddoups called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m.
2. Committee Business
MOTION: Rep. Bush moved to approve the minutes of the July 12, 2001 public hearings in Price and Provo and the July 16, 2001 public hearing in Park City. The motion passed unanimously, with an amendment made by Rep. Bryson in the Provo minutes to change Jim Bridgewatter to Tim. Also with an amendment made by Chair Waddoups in the Price minutes to change Chair Waddoups to Chair Adair.
Rep. Biskupski asked to direct staff to create a summary or an analysis of the public comment to the present time. Chair Waddoups indicated that the comments from the public are open to interpretation depending on the person, but asked staff to put a general summary together.
MOTION: Rep. Bigelow moved to hold the final redistricting meeting on Friday, September 28 at 9:00 a.m. to finalize any unfinished plans. The motion passed unanimously.
3. Redistricting Procedural Information
Mr. Stewart Smith, Redistricting Team Manager, Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, provided a handout and slides and discussed the significance of district numbering. He said that few individuals know a district by its number but that a district number potentially may indicate adjacency, proximity to another district, and the relative location within the state. Mr. Smith reviewed the existing House and Senate district numbering system and discussed the potential benefits of serpentine numbering from a top or bottom corner. He summarized by saying that numbering is not significant and may be done at the convenience of the committee balancing the potential benefits of serpentine numbering with the convenience of the status quo. Numbering is generally established by the author of a plan.
Mr. John Fellows, Associate General Counsel, Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, distributed a handout "Redistricting Procedural Information" and discussed Senate district elections. Mr. Fellows indicated that it is the responsibility of the Legislature to implement staggered terms for state Senators and State School Board members. In past years, the Redistricting Committee has designated, for each district, the year in which the Senate or school board election must be held.
Chair Waddoups asked what happens if two senators end up in the same district, but they are on different terms. Mr. Fellows indicated that the election for that district would be held in the November before the first Senator's term expired, which would usually be the next regular general election.
Mr. Fellows also discussed the form of redistricting legislation. He referred to page two of his handout showing the form of the existing statute. He indicated what other states have used, but expressed his concern that the data listed does nothing to help citizens or legislators determine the boundaries of their district. He presented an alternative in draft form, which can be found on page 5 of his handout. He suggested that the maps prepared and adopted by the committee be incorporated by reference in statutory text and attached to the bill. He indicated that the language incorporating the maps by reference would be codified. Amendments would be created by including a separate map. He concluded that the maps drive the process and help the public to grasp the information, which would be the preferred form of legislation.
MOTION: Sen. Valentine moved to direct staff to create a proposal with a change in code to use reference to the official maps filed with the Lt. Governor's Office instead of the census track index. He clarified that all districts, Congressional, State School Board, House, and Senate plans would be incorporated in the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
MOTION: Rep. Shurtliff moved that the committee include, in the redistricting guidelines, the following language: "Efforts will be made to maintain communities of interests and geographical boundaries and to respect existing political subdivisions as far as practicable. Districts will not be drawn to intentionally protect or defeat any incumbent."
SUBSTITUTE MOTION: Sen. Valentine moved to proceed to the next item on the agenda. He indicated that without the 24-hour notice of this subject on the agenda, it could be challenged.
Rep. Harper spoke in favor of the substitute motion and indicated that amendments over 15 words should be in writing.
Rep. Biskupski spoke in favor of Rep. Shurtliff's motion. She stated that now that the public hearings are over, it is appropriate to come back to this issue and that it is critical the committee be mindful of the language.
Rep. Bigelow spoke in favor of the substitute motion and indicated that the work of the committee up to the present time could be invalidated by changing the principles by which the committee has functioned.
Sen. Suazo asked if the committee is going to be limited in offering motions unless they are placed on the agenda in the future.
Mr. Fellows stated that the Open and Public Meeting Act requires that items being discussed by the committee be on the agenda. He stated that the issue is whether or not a particular motion is germane to an item on the agenda. He concluded that committee members can make any motion they choose and then the chairs and the committee must determine whether the motion is germane to an item on the agenda.
Rep. Shurtliff stated that adding this principle will not change what the committee has been doing and indicated that what is in the language is what the constituents want. She stated that she believed they could move ahead and vote on the motion.
The committee returned to the substitute motion of Sen. Valentine. The motion passed with Sen. Allen, Sen. Suazo, Rep. Biskupski, Rep. Goodfellow, Rep. Gowans, and Rep. Shurtliff voting in opposition.
Chair Waddoups expressed his appreciation to legislative staff on behalf of the committee for the time and effort they have given to the redistricting process.
4. Presentation of State School Board Plan(s)
Rep. Adair introduced the members of the State School Board. He called on Rep. Pace to discuss the plans that have been drawn for the State School Districts and Mr. Howe to present the school board maps.
Mr. Jerry Howe indicated that the State School Board requested that the Redistricting Committee not unnecessarily divide any local school districts. The State Board suggested that no local school boards be divided unless it was necessary to meet the population requirements. Mr. Howe indicated that some local school districts are larger than the ideal state school board size, including Salt Lake, Granite, and Jordan School Districts. Other districts are smaller than the ideal size of 148,878, including Logan, Tintic, Juab, and Murray School Districts. This makes it necessary to divide some of the local school districts.
He indicated that the school board plans have been created substantially similar, except in Salt Lake County. School Board Districts 8 through 13 in Salt Lake County are more closely aligned with local school districts in Plan B then they are in Plan A.
Rep. Pace expressed appreciation to legislative staff for the time they have given and indicated how much the committee values their expertise on this issue. Rep. Pace indicated that she has consulted with each school board member, to get their views and input. She presented the State School Board District Plans and indicated that Plan A is similar to the lines drawn in the past, but they are adjusted to meet the population shifts. She also indicated that Plan B draws the Salt Lake County School District with a greater east and west orientation to follow more closely the current local school boundaries. She stated that she believes that both plans are better than the current state plan in terms of keeping school districts more whole.
Ms. Linnea Barney, School District 15, indicated that there have been no changes to her district except for being extended to the south end of the Provo City District.
Mr. Denis Morrill, School District 10, stated that he favors Plan A, rather than B and indicated that it follows the typical expansion of the area. He indicated that the Jordan River brings a distinct social boundary and that it is easier for him to represent the people east of the river, rather than east and west of the river. He pointed out that, in Plan B, District 10 includes the residents of two members of the State School Board, which might be quite disruptive.
Mr. Kim Burningham, School District 7, Chairman of the State School Board, stated that overall Plan A and B are good plans that either would work well.
Ms. Laurel Brown, School District 12, thanked Rep. Pace for all her work and inviting the board to speak and give input. She stated that Murray is a very small district in a highly populated county and that it is important that they maintain as much ability to represent their constituents as possible. She indicated that she favors Plan A, which has a natural boundary along the Jordan River.
Ms. Judy Larsen, School District 9, echoed the sentiments of Mr. Morrill. She indicated that she is in favor of Plan A because Plan B combines Magna with the Salt Lake District which is not good representation for them.
Ms. Bette Arial, School District 1, thanked Rep. Pace and Rep. Adair for their work. She stated that the southern districts would be in favor of either plan because neither change the rural districts. She indicated that the plans make sense because they take the roadways into consideration, which make it easier to get to their districts.
Ms. Marilyn Shields, School District 3, expressed appreciation for Rep. Pace's consideration of the rural areas. She stated that she has had a lot of traveling to do within the rural areas of southern Utah and indicated that both plans will be very workable and that they feel good about them.
Mr. Dave Moss, School District 11, stated that both plans affect him in the same way. He stated that if this was a perfect world he would like to encompass all of Jordan, but understands why he would not be able to do so. He expressed his appreciation to Rep. Pace and Mr. Howe for their willingness to answer his questions.
Rep. Bigelow moved to direct staff and Rep. Pace to concentrate on Plan A of the School Board Districts and bring the plan back to the committee for a final vote. The motion passed unanimously with Sen. Valentine absent for the vote.
Chair Adair thanked Rep. Pace for her superb job on directing the school boards plans. He also expressed appreciation to the members of the School Board that had given input.
5. Presentation of Senate District Plan(s)
Chair Waddoups presented and described the State Senate Draft Plan, discussed his approach to creating the plan, and answered questions.
Sen. Allen thanked Sen. Waddoups for his work on the Senate maps. He indicated that there are some people in Utah County that do not want a Senator from Tooele County and vice versa. He stated that the most recent phone calls that he has received from people that know about the Senate map are making it clear that people in Tooele County have more in common with Juab County, than eastern Utah County. He also received some calls from people who have said that the minority communities in Tooele have a lot in common with the minority communities in Magna. They have similar families and social events.
Mr. Gene Roundy, Iron County Commissioner, read a statement and indicated that the latest draft of proposed Senate District 27 bears little resemblance to what the Iron County mayors and commissioners have unanimously proposed. They asked the committee to note that Iron County is the eighth largest county in population in Utah and yet the proposal divides the county and also Cedar City. He also indicated that Iron County is the third fastest growing county in the state during the 1990s gaining in population over the decade by 62.3 percent. Also, it is the only Senatorial district that would have two colleges and universities in the same district and also divides the main campus of College of Eastern Utah and the branch campus into two Senatorial districts. Mr. Roundy urged the committee to consider a Senate district that would reflect the wishes of public policy makers in Iron County and presented their proposed plan for the area. He stated that there are a lot of commonality within the five counties.
Mr. Rick Holman, representative for Cedar City Council, presented a resolution that was passed by the council. He indicated that they are not in favor of the division of Cedar City in the proposed Senate plan and asked the committee to consider the plan proposed by the Iron County Coordinating Council.
Rep. Way stated that every community wants to have as much influence in determining who is selected as their Representative or Senator. He rejected the idea that the proposed division of Iron County will greatly diminish Iron County's ability to be adequately represented in the Utah State Senate. He asked Mr. Holman at what point Cedar City's request to not be split is more important than the request of Logan or American Fork. Mr. Holman stated that he believed splitting cities along the Wasatch Front is probably easier to justify than maybe splitting a city in rural southwestern Utah. He indicated that it was the feeling of the council that there may be an alternative of combining some of the counties in southwest Utah to represent two Senate districts.
Sen. Julander, Senate District 1, expressed her appreciation to the committee for their work. She indicated that the people that move to the Avenues section of Salt Lake City do so because of a close feeling of community. She stated that she is the only Senator who has not spoken yet with Sen. Waddoups about the plan and that she would like to discuss her district with him.
Mr. Russell Kennedy, Avenues resident, reiterated the comments of Sen. Julander and stated that to divide the street in the Avenues would be more than dividing a community, but a family. He requested that the committee consider the demographics of the districts, specifically single households.
Ms. Cynthia Evans stated that natural boundaries should be the reason for drawing lines. She indicated that demographics should not be taken into consideration. She asked the committee to solely consider the numbers.
Sen. Valentine proposed that the committee consider changing the requirements to have Springville in two communities, rather than three.
Rep. Biskupski stated that she would sponsor the "Common Sense State Map," which is the Democratic Party Senate Plan, and asked that a copy of the map be distributed to the entire committee.
Sen. Suazo requested that a representative of the Multi-Cultural Legal Center be asked to address the impact of the proposed Senate and House boundaries on the minority communities in Utah at the next meeting.
MOTION: Sen. Evans moved to adjourn the public hearing at 12:30 p.m. The motion passed unanimously with Rep. Bryson absent for the vote