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Measure Details

Legislative Apportionment

Utah Ballot Measure - Constitutional Amendment D

Election: General Nov. 4, 2008 (General)
Outcome: Passed

Categories:
Campaign Finance and Elections
Constitution
Legislative Branch

Summary

D modifies a provision requiring the Legislature to divide the state into congressional, legislative, and other districts. The Amendment changes the time frame in which the Legislature is required to make those divisions to be no later than the annual general session following the Legislature's receipt of the federal census results.

Current provisions of the Utah Constitution

Under the current Utah Constitution, the Legislature is required to divide the state into congressional, legislative, and other districts at the session next following the federal census. The time frame established by that provision raises two potential issues.

First, the next session after the federal census could potentially be a special session called by the Governor for something unrelated to dividing the state into districts. Even if the Legislature later divided the state into districts at or before the next annual general session of the Legislature, the dividing into districts at that time could be seen as a violation of the Utah Constitution because the dividing did not happen at the earlier special session, which arguably is the "session next following" the federal census.

Second, the time frame established by the current Utah Constitution for the Legislature to divide the state into districts is arguably based on when the federal census takes place, not the Legislature's receipt of the census results.

The results of the federal census do not become available until the year after the actual census is conducted. By the time the results of a census are made available, the Legislature has held its next annual general session. The Legislature is currently unable to divide the state into districts at that annual general session, even though it falls after the federal census is conducted, because the results of the federal census are not yet available. The Legislature's failure to divide the state at that annual general session could be seen as a violation of the Utah Constitution's requirement to divide the state at the "session next following" the federal census, even though the Legislature could not accomplish the division because the census results were not yet available.

Effect of Constitutional Amendment D

Constitutional Amendment D changes the language describing the time frame that applies to the Utah Constitution's requirement for the Legislature to divide the state into districts. The Amendment requires the Legislature to divide the state into districts no later than the annual general session next following the Legislature's receipt of the federal census. Under this Amendment, whether one or more special sessions are held before the Legislature divides the state into districts does not matter as long as the Legislature divides the state into districts no later than the following annual general session. Likewise, Constitutional Amendment D clarifies that the deadline for the Legislature to divide the state into districts is the annual general session after the Legislature's receipt of the federal census results.

Effective date
If approved by voters, Constitutional Amendment D takes effect January 1, 2009.

Fiscal impact
Enactment of this Amendment will not likely result in any increase or decrease in revenue or cost to state or local government.

Measure Text

Shall the Utah Constitution be amended to clarify that the time when the Legislature is required to divide the state into congressional, legislative, and other districts is no later than the annual general session following the Legislature's receipt of the federal census results?

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