Redistricting dead, for now

California legislative leaders have abandoned efforts to reform this year the way the state draws its political boundaries or propose changes to term limits.

In a press release issued a few minutes ago from the office of Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, a joint panel appointed to craft a proposal has called it a day.

Here’s the joint panel’s statement:

“There is no question about the need to reform the redistricting process and our current system of term limits in California. But given the tremendous impact any proposal crafted by the Legislature this year could have on politics and policymaking in our state, we feel it is the best course not to pursue a sweeping reform package in the waning hours of the legislative session. Make no mistake, our caution in crafting a reform package this year does not in any way diminish our determination to fix a broken system. We stand committed to revisiting redistricting and term limits reform in the next legislative session – to once and for all craft responsible, bipartisan political reforms for the people of California.”

The concession will disappoint reform advocates who sought to link SCA 3, which would have stripped from state lawmakers the task of drawing political boundaries and assigned the job to an independent panel, to less restrictive term limits.

But as one lawmaker said about the endeavor, “It’s like asking a pig to butcher itself.”

Lisa Vorderbrueggen