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Senate Democrats Unveil Redistricting Plan

Sacramento, CA — Senate Democrats have unveiled a redistricting plan that they say could lead to a deal with Governor Schwarzenegger, but the Assembly Republican leader says the proposal is a step backward that would give lawmakers too much control over the design of their districts.

Schwarzenegger´s press secretary, Margita Thompson, agrees the Democrats´ plan would maintain too much of a link between the Legislature and redistricting, but she says it´s a positive sign they have put a proposal in writing.

The Democrats´ plan would take the power to draw legislative and congressional districts away from the Legislature and give it to a seven-member commission that would be appointed by the governor, legislative leaders, the state Judicial Council and the president of the University of California.

Schwarzenegger is backing a November ballot measure that would give redistricting duties to a panel of three retired judges who would try to draw new districts in time for 2006 elections. Democrats see that proposal as an attempt to elect more Republicans.