Another initiative aiming to be on the 2018 ballot was filed last week. This initiative seeks to create an independent commission that could redraw legislative and congressional district boundaries following the 2020 census. Drafted by a group called Utahns for Responsive Government, the “Utah Independent Redistricting and Standards Act” – better known as the “Better Boundaries” initiative – was submitted to the Lt. Governor’s office for review Thursday. It is the third ballot initiative to be filed so far this year. The other initiatives call for a tax hike providing more funding for schools, as well as legalizing medical marijuana. The Better Boundaries initiative would create a bipartisan, seven-member advisory commission that would have no power to redraw the districts itself but would make recommendations to the Legislature following the once-a-decade census.
The Legislature could accept those recommendations or reject them. In the latter case, the Legislature would be required to explain its rejection in writing. Members of the commission would be chosen by the governor and the legislative heads of the political parties.
The initiative is being backed by former Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, a Democrat, and former Utah Department of Alcohol Beverage Control Commissioner Jeff Wright, a Republican. Both co-chair the Better Boundaries initiative drive.