Published On: October 15th, 2019Categories: California News

Gov. Gavin Newsom has vetoed legislation that would have taken the redistricting pen out of supervisors’ hands in Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.

SB 139, also known as the People’s Maps Act, would have required counties with more than 400,000 residents to use independent commissions to redraw county supervisors’ districts, similar to what’s already done in Los Angeles County.

While a statewide redistricting commission of citizens redraws districts for state lawmakers and members of Congress following each census, boards of supervisors typically have the power to shape their own maps every 10 years. Letting supervisors map their own districts invites gerrymandering and shuts out political minorities, SB 139’s supporters said.

“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,” Newsom wrote in his Sunday, Oct. 13, veto message.

The bill also should go through the budget process because the state might have to reimburse counties for redistricting costs, Newsom added.

The governor signed another bill, the Fair Maps Act, which requires cities and counties to be more transparent and gather more public input when they redistrict.

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