Harrisburg, June 6, 2018 – Following today’s state Senate Appropriations Committee approval, Sen. Lisa M. Boscola’s (D-Northampton/Lehigh) redistricting reform legislation is headed to the full Senate.
“I am pleased with the committee’s support to advance the process and will push for a full Senate vote in the weeks ahead,” Boscola said. “This amended version of my legislation (Senate Bill 22) is a reasonable compromise that establishes an independent commission to redraw district maps. While it’s not perfect, it would certainly make the process far more transparent and fair.
“As I said when the State Government Committee unanimously approved my bill in May, doing nothing is not an option. We cannot let perfect be the enemy of good. We cannot let the clock run out on our opportunity to have reform in place for the upcoming round of redistricting.”
Boscola’s bill establishes an independent 11-member citizens commission to redraw Congressional and state legislative district maps. The commission would be comprised of citizens who are registered Democrats, Republicans and independents. It requires significant public input, applies sound map-drawing standards and establishes a fair process for final map adoption.
True to Boscola’s original legislation, politicians would have no role in actually drawing the maps. She has been fighting to reform the process since 2010 redistricting round. Those maps were ultimately ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court.
“By the time the political powerbrokers were finished contorting the process, the Congressional map was a riddled joke that split the Lehigh Valley and other communities across our state into pieces,” Boscola said. “The weird gerrymandered shape of Pennsylvania districts became a running national joke until the maps were finally cleaned up by the court earlier this year.”
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