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Bracing for litigation, California's independent redistricting commission has decided to temporarily retain most of its key aides after acting on the state political districts it was formed to create.

The 14-member commission is scheduled to take a tentative vote Friday on its new legislative, congressional and Board of Equalization maps. Final action is scheduled Aug. 15.

The commission voted this week to retain its executive director, legal counsel, communications director, business manager, a computer expert, and two people to provide administrative support.

Two other commission employees will work part-time: a budget officer and an assistant legal counsel.

The retention is not open-ended, however: The commission said it will re-evaluate staffing needs in mid-October, when it will know whether and how many legal challenges to its maps are filed.

Five data interns, a procurement specialist, and an employee in the budget division were not retained and will leave the commission in weeks ahead.

Voting members of the commission do not receive a salary but are paid $300 in per diem to defray expenses. The panel consists of five Democrats, five Republicans, and four independent or minor-party members.

New legislative and congressional maps are required only once every 10 years. Voter-approved ballot measures that created the commission envisioned that it would remain viable for three years per decade, but no staffing level was specified.


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