Harrisburg, June 13, 2018 – The state Senate today voted 35-14 in favor of Sen. Lisa M. Boscola’s (D-Northampton/Lehigh) statewide redistricting reform legislation.
The measure would amend the state’s constitution to establish a citizen’s commission to redraw Congressional and state legislative district maps. It would require significant public input, apply sound map-drawing standards and establish a fair process for final map adoption.
The bill (Senate Bill 22) now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. Boscola provided the following comment:
“While this amended version of my legislation has taken a bumpy voyage through the Senate, the measure has emerged as a reasonable compromise that retains my goal of separating politicians from the actual map-drawing process.
“It is truly a historic day for the chamber. In most other states where redistricting reform took place it was through petition and referendum, something not available to the voters of Pennsylvania. Today, we took steps to diminish our influence over the way in which we draw all our legislative district boundaries and turn it over to an independent commission.
“I am satisfied that the amended proposal would still make the process far more transparent and fair than the current system.
“In the end, this vote moves the potential for real redistricting reform one step closer to a people’s vote. And reforming our redistricting process will help strengthen representative democracy in Pennsylvania.
“I thank and acknowledge the citizen advocates who put so much time and effort into reforming the process. Without their spirited effort to raise public awareness, this legislation would have never seen the light of day.”
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