PRIOR PASSAGE - NONE
                                                       PRINTER'S NO. 382

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA


SENATE BILL

No. 346 Session of 2007


        INTRODUCED BY BOSCOLA, STACK, C. WILLIAMS, LAVALLE, BROWNE,
           KITCHEN, PIPPY AND FONTANA, MARCH 12, 2007

        REFERRED TO STATE GOVERNMENT, MARCH 12, 2007

                               A JOINT RESOLUTION

     1  Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth
     2     of Pennsylvania, providing for a Legislative and
     3     Congressional Reapportionment Bureau for the purpose of
     4     reapportioning and redistricting the Commonwealth of
     5     Pennsylvania.

     6     The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     7  hereby resolves as follows:
     8     Section 1.  The following amendment to the Constitution of
     9  Pennsylvania is proposed in accordance with Article XI:
    10     That section 17 of Article II be amended to read:
    11  § 17.  Legislative [Reapportionment Commission] and
    12         Congressional Reapportionment Bureau.
    13     (a)  In each year following the year of the Federal decennial
    14  census, a Legislative [Reapportionment Commission] and
    15  Congressional Reapportionment Bureau shall be constituted for
    16  the purpose of reapportioning the Commonwealth. The bureau shall
    17  consist of a director and employees as are necessary to carry
    18  out the responsibilities of reapportionment and redistricting.


     1  [The commission shall act by a majority of its entire
     2  membership.
     3     (b)  The commission shall consist of five members: four of
     4  whom shall be the majority and minority leaders of both the
     5  Senate and the House of Representatives, or deputies appointed
     6  by each of them, and a chairman selected as hereinafter
     7  provided. No later than 60 days following the official reporting
     8  of the Federal decennial census as required by Federal law, the
     9  four members shall be certified by the President pro tempore of
    10  the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to
    11  the elections officer of the Commonwealth who under law shall
    12  have supervision over elections.
    13     The four members within 45 days after their certification
    14  shall select the fifth member, who shall serve as chairman of
    15  the commission, and shall immediately certify his name to such
    16  elections officer. The chairman shall be a citizen of the
    17  Commonwealth other than a local, State or Federal official
    18  holding an office to which compensation is attached.
    19     If the four members fail to select the fifth member within
    20  the time prescribed, a majority of the entire membership of the
    21  Supreme Court within 30 days thereafter shall appoint the
    22  chairman as aforesaid and certify his appointment to such
    23  elections officer.
    24     Any vacancy in the commission shall be filled within 15 days
    25  in the same manner in which such position was originally filled.
    26     (c)  No later than 90 days after either the commission has
    27  been duly certified or the population data for the Commonwealth
    28  as determined by the Federal decennial census are available,
    29  whichever is later in time, the commission shall file a
    30  preliminary reapportionment plan with such elections officer.
    20070S0346B0382                  - 2 -     

     1     The commission shall have 30 days after filing the
     2  preliminary plan to make corrections in the plan.
     3     Any person aggrieved by the preliminary plan shall have the
     4  same 30-day period to file exceptions with the commission in
     5  which case the commission shall have 30 days after the date the
     6  exceptions were filed to prepare and file with such elections
     7  officer a revised reapportionment plan. If no exceptions are
     8  filed within 30 days, or if filed and acted upon, the
     9  commissions's plan shall be final and have the force of law.
    10     (d)  Any aggrieved person may file an appeal from the final
    11  plan directly to the Supreme Court within 30 days after the
    12  filing thereof. If the appellant establishes that the final plan
    13  is contrary to law, the Supreme Court shall issue an order
    14  remanding the plan to the commission and directing the
    15  commission to reapportion the Commonwealth in a manner not
    16  inconsistent with such order.
    17     (e)  When the Supreme Court has finally decided an appeal or
    18  when the last day for filing an appeal has passed with no appeal
    19  taken, the reapportionment plan shall have the force of law and
    20  the districts therein provided shall be used thereafter in
    21  elections to the General Assembly until the next reapportionment
    22  as required under this section 17.]
    23     (b)  (1)  The bureau shall acquire appropriate information,
    24  review and evaluate available facilities and develop programs
    25  and procedures in preparation for drawing congressional and
    26  legislative redistricting plans on the basis of each Federal
    27  census.
    28     (2)  By December 31 of each year ending in zero, the bureau
    29  shall obtain from the United States Bureau of the Census
    30  information regarding geographic and political units in this
    20070S0346B0382                  - 3 -     

     1  Commonwealth for which Federal census population data has been
     2  gathered and will be tabulated. The bureau shall use the data
     3  obtained to prepare:
     4     (i)  Necessary descriptions of geographic and political units
     5  for which census data will be reported and which are suitable
     6  for use as components of legislative districts.
     7     (ii)  Maps of counties, cities and other geographic units
     8  within this Commonwealth, which may be used to illustrate the
     9  locations of legislative district boundaries proposed in plans
    10  drawn in accordance with subsection (d).
    11     (3)  As soon as possible after January 1 of each year ending
    12  in one, the bureau shall obtain from the United States Bureau of
    13  the Census the population data needed for legislative
    14  districting which the Bureau of the Census is required to
    15  provide this Commonwealth under 13 U.S.C. § 141 (relating to
    16  population and other census information) and shall use that data
    17  to assign a population figure based upon census data to each
    18  geographic or political unit described pursuant to paragraph
    19  (2)(i). Upon completing that task, the bureau shall begin the
    20  preparation of congressional and legislative districting plans
    21  as required by subsection (c).
    22     (c)  (1)  Not later than April 1 of each year ending in one,
    23  the bureau shall deliver to the Secretary of the Senate and the
    24  Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives identical bills
    25  embodying a plan of legislative and congressional districting
    26  prepared in accordance with subsection (d). It is the intent of
    27  this section that the General Assembly shall bring the bill to a
    28  vote in either the Senate or the House of Representatives
    29  expeditiously, but not less than seven days after the report of
    30  the commission required by subsection (f) is received and made
    20070S0346B0382                  - 4 -     

     1  available to the members of the General Assembly, under a
     2  procedure or rule permitting no amendments except those of a
     3  purely corrective nature. It is further the intent of this
     4  section that, if the bill is approved by the first House in
     5  which it is considered, it shall expeditiously be brought to a
     6  vote in the second House under a similar procedure or rule.
     7     (2)  If the bill embodying the plan submitted by the bureau
     8  under paragraph (1) fails to be approved by a constitutional
     9  majority in either the Senate or the House of Representatives,
    10  the Secretary of the Senate or the Chief Clerk of the House of
    11  Representatives, as the case may be, shall at once transmit to
    12  the bureau information which the Senate or House of
    13  Representatives may direct regarding reasons why the plan was
    14  not approved. The bureau shall prepare a bill embodying a second
    15  plan of legislative and congressional districting prepared in
    16  accordance with subsection (d) taking into account the reasons
    17  cited by the Senate or House of Representatives for its failure
    18  to approve the plan insofar as it is possible to do so within
    19  the requirements of subsection (d). If a second plan is required
    20  under this subsection, the bill embodying it shall be delivered
    21  to the Secretary of the Senate and the Chief Clerk of the House
    22  of Representatives not later than May 1 of the year ending in
    23  one or 14 days after the date of the vote by which the Senate or
    24  the House of Representatives fails to approve the bill submitted
    25  under paragraph (1), whichever date is later. It is the intent
    26  of this section that, if it is necessary to submit a bill under
    27  this subsection, the bill be brought to a vote not less than
    28  seven days after the bill is printed and made available to the
    29  members of the General Assembly, in the same manner as
    30  prescribed for the bill required under paragraph (1).
    20070S0346B0382                  - 5 -     

     1     (3)  If the bill embodying the plan submitted by the bureau
     2  under paragraph (2) fails to be approved by a constitutional
     3  majority in either the Senate or the House of Representatives,
     4  the same procedure as prescribed by paragraph (2) shall be
     5  followed. If a third plan is required under this subsection, the
     6  bill embodying it shall be delivered to the Secretary of the
     7  Senate and the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives not
     8  later than June 1 of the year ending in one or 14 days after the
     9  date of the vote by which the Senate or the House of
    10  Representatives fails to approve the bill submitted under
    11  paragraph (2), whichever date is later. It is the intent of this
    12  section that if it is necessary to submit a bill under this
    13  subsection, the bill be brought to a vote within the same time
    14  period after its delivery to the Secretary of the Senate and the
    15  Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives as is prescribed for
    16  the bill submitted under paragraph (2), but shall be subject to
    17  amendment in the same manner as other bills.
    18     (4)  Notwithstanding paragraphs (1), (2) and (3):
    19     (i)  If population data from the Federal census which is
    20  sufficient to permit preparation of a congressional districting
    21  plan becomes available at an earlier time than the population
    22  data needed to permit preparation of a legislative districting
    23  plan in accordance with subsection (d), the bureau shall so
    24  inform the presiding officers of the Senate and House of
    25  Representatives. If the presiding officers so direct, the bureau
    26  shall prepare a separate bill establishing congressional
    27  districts and submit it separately from the bill establishing
    28  legislative districts. It is the intent of this section that the
    29  General Assembly shall proceed to consider the congressional
    30  districting bill in substantially the manner prescribed by
    20070S0346B0382                  - 6 -     

     1  paragraphs (1), (2) and (3).
     2     (ii)  If the population data for legislative districting
     3  which the United States Bureau of the Census is required to
     4  provide this Commonwealth under 13 U.S.C. § 141 is not available
     5  to the Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Bureau on
     6  or before February 1 of the year ending in one, the dates set
     7  forth in this section shall be extended by a number of days
     8  equal to the number of days after February 1 of the year ending
     9  in one that the Federal census population data for legislative
    10  districting becomes available.
    11     (d)  (1)  Legislative and congressional districts shall be
    12  established on the basis of population.
    13     (i)  Senatorial and representative districts, respectively,
    14  shall each have a population as nearly equal as practicable to
    15  the ideal population for such districts, determined by dividing
    16  the number of districts to be established into the population of
    17  this Commonwealth reported in the Federal decennial census.
    18  Senatorial districts and representative districts shall not vary
    19  in population from the respective ideal district populations
    20  except as necessary to comply with one of the other standards
    21  enumerated in this section. In no case shall the quotient,
    22  obtained by dividing the total of the absolute values of the
    23  deviations of all district populations from the applicable ideal
    24  district population by the number of districts established,
    25  exceed 2.5% of the applicable ideal district population. No
    26  senatorial district shall have a population which exceeds that
    27  of any other senatorial district by more than 5%, and no
    28  representative district shall have a population which exceeds
    29  that of any other representative district by more than 5%.
    30     (ii)  Congressional districts shall each have a population as
    20070S0346B0382                  - 7 -     

     1  nearly equal as practicable to the ideal district population,
     2  derived as prescribed in subparagraph (i). No congressional
     3  district shall have a population which varies by more than 2.5%
     4  from the applicable ideal district population.
     5     (iii)  If a challenge is filed with the Supreme Court
     6  alleging excessive population variance among districts
     7  established in a plan adopted by the General Assembly, the
     8  General Assembly has the burden of justifying any variance in
     9  excess of 2.5% between the population of a district and the
    10  applicable ideal district population.
    11     (2)  To the extent consistent with paragraph (1), district
    12  boundaries shall coincide with the boundaries of political
    13  subdivisions of this Commonwealth. The number of counties and
    14  cities divided among more than one district shall be as small as
    15  possible. When there is a choice between dividing local
    16  political subdivisions, the more populous subdivisions shall be
    17  divided before the less populous, but this statement does not
    18  apply to a legislative district boundary drawn along a county
    19  line which passes through a city that lies in more than one
    20  county.
    21     (3)  Districts shall be composed of convenient contiguous
    22  territory. Areas which meet only at the points of adjoining
    23  corners are not contiguous.
    24     (4)  It is preferable that districts be compact in form, but
    25  the standards established by paragraphs (1), (2) and (3) take
    26  precedence over compactness where a conflict arises between
    27  compactness and these standards. In general, compact districts
    28  are those which are square, rectangular or hexagonal in shape to
    29  the extent permitted by natural or political boundaries.
    30     (5)  Districts should represent communities of interest as
    20070S0346B0382                  - 8 -     

     1  reflected by common economic patterns of production and
     2  consumption, school district boundaries, cultural activities,
     3  self-identification, media coverage, and other relevant
     4  demographic information.
     5     (6)  However, no district shall be drawn for the purpose of
     6  favoring a political party, incumbent legislator or member of
     7  Congress or other person or group. In establishing districts, no
     8  use shall be made of any of the following data:
     9     (i)  Addresses of incumbent legislators or members of
    10  Congress.
    11     (ii)  Political affiliations of registered voters.
    12     (iii)  Previous election results.
    13     (7)  Each bill embodying a plan drawn under this section
    14  shall provide that any vacancy in the General Assembly which
    15  takes office in the year ending in one, occurring at a time
    16  which makes it necessary to fill the vacancy at a special
    17  election held pursuant to section 629 of the act of June 3, 1937
    18  (P.L.1333, No.320), known as the Pennsylvania Election Code,
    19  shall be filled from the same district which elected the senator
    20  or representative whose seat is vacant.
    21     (8)  Each bill embodying a plan drawn under this section
    22  shall include provisions for election of senators to the General
    23  Assemblies which take office in the years ending in three and
    24  five, which shall be in conformity with section 16 of this
    25  article.
    26     (e)  (1)  Not later than February 15 of each year ending in
    27  one, a five-member temporary redistricting advisory commission
    28  shall be established as provided by this section. The
    29  commission's only functions shall be those prescribed by
    30  subsection (f).
    20070S0346B0382                  - 9 -     

     1     (i)  Each of the four selecting authorities shall certify to
     2  the chief election officer his appointment of a person to serve
     3  on the commission. The certifications may be made at any time
     4  after the four selecting authorities have been selected for the
     5  General Assembly to take office in the year ending in one, even
     6  though the terms of office of the selecting authorities have not
     7  actually begun.
     8     (ii)  Within 30 days after the four selecting authorities
     9  have certified their respective appointments to the commission,
    10  but in no event later than February 15 of the year ending in
    11  one, the four commission members so appointed shall select, by a
    12  vote of at least three members, and certify to the chief
    13  election officer the fifth commission member who shall serve as
    14  chairperson.
    15     (iii)  A vacancy on the commission shall be filled by the
    16  initial selecting authority within 15 days after the vacancy
    17  occurs.
    18     (iv)  Members of the commission shall receive per diem travel
    19  expenses and reimbursement for other necessary expenses incurred
    20  in performing their duties under this section.
    21     (2)  No person shall be appointed to the commission who:
    22     (i)  Is not an eligible elector of this Commonwealth at the
    23  time of selection.
    24     (ii)  Holds partisan public office or political party office.
    25     (iii)  Is a relative of or is employed by a member of the
    26  General Assembly or of Congress or is employed directly by the
    27  General Assembly or by Congress.
    28     (f)  The functions of the commission shall be as follows:
    29     (1)  If, in preparation of plans as required by this section,
    30  the bureau is confronted with the necessity to make any decision
    20070S0346B0382                 - 10 -     

     1  for which no clearly applicable guideline is provided by
     2  subsection (d), the bureau may submit a written request for
     3  direction to the commission.
     4     (2)  Prior to delivering any plan and the bill embodying that
     5  plan to the Secretary of the Senate and the Chief Clerk of the
     6  House of Representatives in accordance with subsection (c), the
     7  bureau shall provide to persons outside the bureau staff only
     8  such information regarding the plan as may be required by
     9  policies agreed upon by the commission. This paragraph does not
    10  apply to population data furnished to the bureau by the United
    11  States Bureau of the Census.
    12     (3)  Upon each delivery by the bureau to the General Assembly
    13  of a bill embodying a plan, pursuant to subsection (c), the
    14  commission shall at the earliest feasible time make available to
    15  the public the following information:
    16     (i)  Copies of the bill delivered by the bureau to the
    17  General Assembly.
    18     (ii)  Maps illustrating the plan.
    19     (iii)  A summary of the standards prescribed by subsection
    20  (d) for development of the plan.
    21     (iv)  A statement of the population of each district included
    22  in the plan and the relative deviation of each district
    23  population from the ideal district population.
    24     (4)  Upon the delivery by the bureau to the General Assembly
    25  of a bill embodying an initial plan, as required by subsection
    26  (c)(1), the commission shall:
    27     (i)  As expeditiously as reasonably possible, schedule and
    28  conduct at least three public hearings, in different geographic
    29  regions of this Commonwealth, on the plan embodied in the bill
    30  delivered by the bureau to the General Assembly.
    20070S0346B0382                 - 11 -     

     1     (ii)  Following the hearings, promptly prepare and submit to
     2  the Secretary of the Senate and the Chief Clerk of the House of
     3  Representatives a report summarizing information and testimony
     4  received by the commission in the course of the hearings. The
     5  commission's report shall include any comments and conclusions
     6  which its members deem appropriate on the information and
     7  testimony received at the hearings or otherwise presented to the
     8  commission.
     9     [(f)] (g)  Any district which does not include the residence
    10  from which a member of the Senate was elected whether or not
    11  scheduled for election at the next general election shall elect
    12  a Senator at such election.
    13     [(g)  The General Assembly shall appropriate sufficient funds
    14  for the compensation and expenses of members and staff appointed
    15  by the commission, and other necessary expenses. The members of
    16  the commission shall be entitled to such compensation for their
    17  services as the General Assembly from time to time shall
    18  determine, but no part thereof shall be paid until a preliminary
    19  plan is filed. If a preliminary plan is filed but the commission
    20  fails to file a revised or final plan within the time
    21  prescribed, the commission members shall forfeit all right to
    22  compensation not paid.
    23     (h)  If a preliminary, revised or final reapportionment plan
    24  is not filed by the commission within the time prescribed by
    25  this section, unless the time be extended by the Supreme Court
    26  for cause shown, the Supreme Court shall immediately proceed on
    27  its own motion to reapportion the Commonwealth.
    28     (i)  Any reapportionment plan filed by the commission, or
    29  ordered or prepared by the Supreme Court upon the failure of the
    30  commission to act, shall be published by the elections officer
    20070S0346B0382                 - 12 -     

     1  once in at least one newspaper of general circulation in each
     2  senatorial and representative district. The publication shall
     3  contain a map of the Commonwealth showing the complete
     4  reapportionment of the General Assembly by districts, and a map
     5  showing the reapportionment districts in the area normally
     6  served by the newspaper in which the publication is made. The
     7  publication shall also state the population of the senatorial
     8  and representative districts having the smallest and largest
     9  population and the percentage variation of such districts from
    10  the average population for senatorial and representative
    11  districts.]
    12     (h)  All positions in the bureau shall be deemed to be
    13  included in the list of positions set forth in section 3(d) of
    14  the act of August 5, 1941 (P.L.752, No.286), known as the Civil
    15  Service Act, and the provisions and benefits of the act shall be
    16  applicable to the employees of and positions in the bureau.
    17     (i)  The bureau shall expire and its responsibilities shall
    18  terminate not later than November 1 of each year ending in one
    19  and shall be reconstituted on November 1 in the year of the next
    20  Federal decennial census.
    21     (j)  The following words and phrases when used in this
    22  section shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection
    23  unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
    24     "Bureau."  The Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment
    25  Bureau.
    26     "Chief election officer."  The Secretary of the Commonwealth
    27  or a designee.
    28     "Commission."  The temporary redistricting advisory
    29  commission established pursuant to this section.
    30     "Federal census."  The decennial census required by Federal
    20070S0346B0382                 - 13 -     

     1  law to be conducted by the United States Bureau of the Census in
     2  every year ending in zero.
     3     "Four selecting authorities." 
     4     (1)  The Majority Leader of the Senate.
     5     (2)  The Minority Leader of the Senate.
     6     (3)  The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives.
     7     (4)  The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.
     8     "Partisan public office."
     9     (1)  An elective or appointive office in the executive or
    10  legislative branch or in an independent establishment of the
    11  Federal Government.
    12     (2)  An elective office in the executive or legislative
    13  branch of the government of this Commonwealth or an office which
    14  is filled by appointment.
    15     (3)  An office of a county, city or other political
    16  subdivision of this Commonwealth which is filled by an election
    17  process involving nomination and election of candidates on a
    18  partisan basis.
    19     "Plan."  A plan for legislative and congressional
    20  reapportionment drawn up pursuant to the requirements of this
    21  section.
    22     "Political party office."  An elective office in the national
    23  or State organization of a political party.
    24     "Relative."  An individual who is related to the person in
    25  question as father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister,
    26  uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife,
    27  grandfather, grandmother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-
    28  law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather,
    29  stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half
    30  brother or half sister.
    20070S0346B0382                 - 14 -     

     1     Section 2.  (a)  Upon the first passage by the General
     2  Assembly of this proposed constitutional amendment, the
     3  Secretary of the Commonwealth shall proceed immediately to
     4  comply with the advertising requirements of section 1 of Article
     5  XI of the Constitution of Pennsylvania and shall transmit the
     6  required advertisements to two newspapers in every county in
     7  which such newspapers are published in sufficient time after
     8  passage of this proposed constitutional amendment.
     9     (b)  Upon the second passage by the General Assembly of this
    10  proposed constitutional amendment, the Secretary of the
    11  Commonwealth shall proceed immediately to comply with the
    12  advertising requirements of section 1 of Article XI of the
    13  Constitution of Pennsylvania and shall transmit the required
    14  advertisements to two newspapers in every county in which such
    15  newspapers are published in sufficient time after passage of
    16  this proposed constitutional amendment. The Secretary of the
    17  Commonwealth shall submit this proposed constitutional amendment
    18  to the qualified electors of this Commonwealth at the first
    19  primary, general or municipal election which meets the
    20  requirements of and is in conformance with section 1 of Article
    21  XI of the Constitution of Pennsylvania and which occurs at least
    22  three months after the proposed constitutional amendment is
    23  passed by the General Assembly.





    L5L83DMS/20070S0346B0382        - 15 -
See other bills
under the
same topic