A bill and subsequent ballot initiative to remove the power of re-drawing district lines from state lawmakers and turning it over to a commission is still under discussion as lawmakers prepare for their last weeks of session. However the legislature’s two top Democrats differ on the timing. The head of the state Senate, Democrat Don Perata has cited a crowded ballot this November as a reason to wait until 2008. But Democratic State Assembly Speaker Fabian (Fah-bee-ahn) Nunez says he wants an agreement on this year’s ballot, noting upcoming elections for much of the legislature.
“There’s some momentum now, we don’t know what will happen next year. If the political will is to put it on the ballot, we should put it on the ballot now…”
Senate Republican leader Dick Ackerman agrees that if a deal can be reached it should appear before voters this year. He says he’s also open to the idea that the plan includes amending term limits.
If a bill is to be placed on a supplemental ballot for November, lawmakers must act soon—the Secretary of State has advised having something done by the end of this week.