The Buzz: When redistricting commission mentions koi, it’s not talking fish

Redistricting panel’s focus is geography, not goldfish

Anyone who has tuned into the webcasts of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission‘s meetings lately might wonder why its members keep talking about goldfish.

Every other comment, it seems, refers to koi, the much-prized Asian fish. But insiders know that the commission, which is redrawing the state’s congressional and legislative districts, isn’t being fishy.

The acronym “COI” refers to a “community of interest,” which state law says should be one factor in deciding how to draw the lines.

Its definition is a bit vague. It can refer to a geographic region, an ethnic enclave or economic symbiosis, depending on the specifics under discussion.

Because a deadline looms, the commission is trying to firm up its plans for 80 Assembly districts, 40 state Senate districts, 53 congressional districts and four Board of Equalization districts.

It has canceled plans to release a second set of draft maps and is now concentrating on final maps.

Although the final maps are due next month, the 14-member commission’s staff has set a Wednesday deadline for major decisions so that it can complete the technical mapmaking.

BILL WATCH

Independent county government pension boards would stop counting bonuses and some unused leave cash-outs when calculating pensions under a bill the Senate passed 35-0 last week. Assembly Bill 340 also curbs “double-dipping” by mandating a waiting period between when workers leave service and when they could return to their former jobs. The bill faces an Assembly vote on the Senate’s changes.

WORTH REPEATING

“I’m a conservative. I’m also an institutionalist. I want to see this place work.”

REP. DAN LUNGREN, R-Gold River, about the schism in Congress between old-guard Republicans and the no-compromise bloc of die-hard conservatives

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Article source: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/07/18/3775923/the-buzz-when-redistricting-commission.html

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