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PRIOR PASSAGE - NONE
PRINTER'S NO. 3599
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
2449
Session of
2018
INTRODUCED BY REED, ROE, BENNINGHOFF, BARRAR, CHARLTON,
DRISCOLL, DUNBAR, ENGLISH, EVERETT, KAUFER, RYAN, SANTORA,
SIMMONS, SOLOMON, STAATS, THOMAS, WATSON, GILLEN AND SANKEY,
JUNE 5, 2018
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON RULES, JUNE 5, 2018
A JOINT RESOLUTION
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth
of Pennsylvania, further providing for the Legislative
Reapportionment Commission for the purpose of reapportioning
and redistricting the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby resolves as follows:
Section 1. The following amendment to the Constitution of
Pennsylvania is proposed in accordance with Article XI:
That section 17 of Article II be amended to read:
ยง 17. Legislative [Reapportionment] and Congressional
Redistricting Commission.
(a) In each year following the year of the Federal decennial
census, a Legislative [Reapportionment] and Congressional
Redistricting Commission shall be constituted for the purpose of
[reapportioning] redistricting the Commonwealth. The commission
shall [act by a majority of its entire membership.]:
(1) Conduct an open and transparent process enabling full
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public consideration of and comment on the drawing of district
lines.
(2) Conduct itself with integrity and fairness.
[(b) The commission shall consist of five members: four of
whom shall be the majority and minority leaders of both the
Senate and the House of Representatives, or deputies appointed
by each of them, and a chairman selected as hereinafter
provided. No later than 60 days following the official reporting
of the Federal census as required by Federal law, the four
members shall be certified by the President pro tempore of the
Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to the
elections officer of the Commonwealth who under law shall have
supervision over elections.
The four members within 45 days after their certification
shall select the fifth member, who shall serve as chairman of
the commission, and shall immediately certify his name to such
elections officer. The chairman shall be a citizen of the
Commonwealth other than a local, State or Federal official
holding an office to which compensation is attached.
If the four members fail to select the fifth member within
the time prescribed, a majority of the entire membership of the
Supreme Court within 30 days thereafter shall appoint the
chairman as aforesaid and certify his appointment to such
elections officer.
Any vacancy in the commission shall be filled within 15 days
in the same manner in which such position was originally filled.
(c) No later than 90 days after either the commission has
been duly certified or the population data for the Commonwealth
as determined by the Federal census are available, whichever is
later in time, the commission shall file a preliminary
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reapportionment plan with such elections officer.
The commission shall have 30 days after filing the
preliminary plan to make corrections in the plan.
Any person aggrieved by the preliminary plan shall have the
same 30-day period to file exceptions with the commission in
which case the commission shall have 30 days after the date the
exceptions were filed to prepare and file with such elections
officer a revised reapportionment plan. If no exceptions are
filed within 30 days, or if filed and acted upon, the
commission's plan shall be final and have the force of law.
(d) Any aggrieved person may file an appeal from the final
plan directly to the Supreme Court within 30 days after the
filing thereof. If the appellant establishes that the final plan
is contrary to law, the Supreme Court shall issue an order
remanding the plan to the commission and directing the
commission to reapportion the Commonwealth in a manner not
inconsistent with such order.
(e) When the Supreme Court has finally decided an appeal or
when the last day for filing an appeal has passed with no appeal
taken, the reapportionment plan shall have the force of law and
the districts therein provided shall be used thereafter in
elections to the General Assembly until the next reapportionment
as required under this section 17.
(f) Any district which does not include the residence from
which a member of the Senate was elected whether or not
scheduled for election at the next general election shall elect
a Senator at such election.
(g) The General Assembly shall appropriate sufficient funds
for the compensation and expenses of members and staff appointed
by the commission, and other necessary expenses. The members of
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the commission shall be entitled to such compensation for their
services as the General Assembly from time to time shall
determine, but no part thereof shall be paid until a preliminary
plan is filed. If a preliminary plan is filed but the commission
fails to file a revised or final plan within the time
prescribed, the commission members shall forfeit all right to
compensation not paid.
(h) If a preliminary, revised or final reapportionment plan
is not filed by the commission within the time prescribed by
this section, unless the time be extended by the Supreme Court
for cause shown, the Supreme Court shall immediately proceed on
its own motion to reapportion the Commonwealth.
(i) Any reapportionment plan filed by the commission, or
ordered or prepared by the Supreme Court upon the failure of the
commission to act, shall be published by the elections officer
once in at least one newspaper of general circulation in each
senatorial and representative district. The publication shall
contain a map of the Commonwealth showing the complete
reapportionment of the General Assembly by districts, and a map
showing the reapportionment districts in the area normally
served by the newspaper in which the publication is made. The
publication shall also state the population of the senatorial
and representative districts having the smallest and largest
population and the percentage variation of such districts from
the average population for senatorial and representative
districts.]
(b) The commission shall consist of 11 members, as follows:
four who are registered with the largest political party in this
Commonwealth based on registration, four who are registered with
the second-largest political party in this Commonwealth based on
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registration and three who are not registered with either of the
two largest political parties in this Commonwealth based on
registration.
(c) The General Assembly shall prescribe by law the
qualification to serve as a commission member. Each commission
member shall possess all of the following qualifications, in
addition to any qualifications prescribed by law:
(1) Be a registered voter who has been continuously
registered in this Commonwealth with the same political party or
unaffiliated with a political party or political body and whose
political affiliation has not changed in the three years
immediately preceding the date of appointment to the commission.
(2) Has voted in each of the three previous general
elections immediately preceding the date of appointment to the
commission.
(3) Has not held nor has an immediate family member who has
held elective public office at the Federal or State level or
elective judicial office in this Commonwealth.
(4) Has not served nor has a spouse who has served as a paid
staff member or paid consultant to a political party, a
political body, a candidate for any elective office, a member of
Congress, a member of the General Assembly or the Governor.
(5) Has not registered nor has a spouse who has registered
as a Federal or State lobbyist in this Commonwealth.
(6) Has not been nominated nor has a spouse who has been
nominated as a candidate for elective office by a political
party or political body nor served nor has a spouse who has
served as a paid staff member or officer of a political party,
political body, political committee or political action
committee.
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(d) Selection of the members of the commission shall be
subject to the following:
(1) Following the general election in a year of a Federal
decennial census, the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall
prepare a list of possible candidates for membership on the
commission. The list shall be prepared by randomly selecting
registered voters in this Commonwealth and shall include each
person's party registration or affiliation. Each person on the
list shall be assigned an ordinal number according to the order
in which the person was randomly selected. The list shall be
provided to the majority and minority leaders of both the Senate
and the House of Representatives, or deputies appointed by each
of them.
(2) The majority and minority leaders of both the Senate and
the House of Representatives, or deputies appointed by each of
them, shall meet as necessary to determine the members of the
commission or to fill a vacancy on the commission, in accordance
with the following:
(i) The person on the list under paragraph (1) who has been
assigned the highest ordinal number remaining shall be
considered for membership on the commission.
(ii) During the consideration for membership of the person
under subparagraph (i), the majority or minority leader of
either the Senate or the House of Representatives, or deputies
appointed by either of them, may object to the membership of the
person only on the grounds of ineligibility under subsection
(c). Upon objection, the majority or minority leader of either
the Senate or the House of Representatives, or deputies
appointed by either them, shall present evidence of the
ineligibility of the person for membership on the commission.
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Questions of ineligibility under this subparagraph shall be
decided by a majority vote.
(iii) If no objection to the person is raised or if the
person has been deemed eligible by a majority vote under
subparagraph (ii), the person shall become a member of the
commission unless the commission consists of the maximum amount
of members who represent the person's party registration as
authorized under subsection (b).
(3) One of the members of the commission shall be selected
as chair by a vote of at least six members of the commission.
(e) The term of office of each member of the commission
shall expire at the same time the commission expires as provided
in this section.
(f) Removal of a member and vacancies on the commission
shall be subject to the following:
(1) If a member of the commission fails to attend more than
two consecutive meetings at which a vote of the commission is
scheduled, the member's position shall be deemed vacant unless
the member is absent due to death of an immediate family member,
personal illness or illness of an immediate family member.
(2) If a member of the commission has been convicted, found
guilty or pled guilty or nolo contendere to embezzlement of
public money, bribery, perjury or another infamous crime,
whether or not sentence has been imposed, the member's position
shall be deemed vacant.
(3) A vacancy in the commission shall be filled within 14
days from the time the commission is notified of the vacancy in
the same manner that the position was originally filled and
using the same procedure as from which the vacating member was
chosen.
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(g) A member shall be ineligible to do the following for a
period of three years beginning from the expiration of the term
for which the member was appointed to the commission:
(1) Serve as a paid staff member or paid consultant to a
political party, a political body, a candidate for any elective
office, a member of Congress, a member of the General Assembly
or the Governor.
(2) Register as a Federal or State lobbyist in this
Commonwealth.
(3) Serve as a paid staff member or paid political
consultant for a political party, political body, political
committee or political action committee.
(h) A member and the member's spouse shall be ineligible to
do the following for a period of five years beginning from the
expiration of the term for which the member was appointed to the
commission:
(1) Hold an appointed position or elective public office at
the Federal or State level in this Commonwealth.
(2) Be eligible for nomination as a candidate for elective
office by a political party or political body.
(3) Hold office for a political party, political body,
political committee or political action committee.
(i) Seven members of the commission shall constitute a
quorum. Seven or more affirmative votes shall be required for
any official action. The final redistricting plan must be
approved by at least seven affirmative votes that must include
at least one vote of a member registered from each of the two
largest political parties in this Commonwealth based on
registration and one vote from a member who is not registered
with either of the two largest political parties.
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(j) To begin the process of preparing information necessary
to the redistricting process, the commission shall:
(1) Acquire all necessary and appropriate information,
review and evaluate available facilities and develop programs
and procedures, that may include the use of software, in
preparation for drawing congressional and legislative
redistricting plans on the basis of each Federal census. The
commission shall make the information available to the public in
a manner prescribed by law.
(2) As soon as possible the year following the Federal
decennial census, obtain from the United States Census Bureau
the population data needed for congressional and legislative
redistricting that the Census Bureau provides the Commonwealth
and use that data to assign a population figure based upon
census data to each geographic and political unit described
pursuant to subparagraph (i). Upon completing that task, the
commission shall begin the preparation of congressional and
legislative redistricting plans as required by this subsection
and subsection (k). The commission shall use the data obtained
to prepare:
(i) Necessary descriptions of census blocks, voting
districts, wards, municipalities and counties for which census
data will be reported and which are suitable for use as
components of districts.
(ii) Maps of census blocks, voting districts, wards,
municipalities and counties within this Commonwealth, that may
be used to illustrate the locations of district boundaries
proposed in plans.
(3) In establishing districts, the commission shall not
consider the following data:
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(i) Addresses of any individual.
(ii) Political affiliations of registered voters.
(iii) Previous election results, unless required by Federal
or State law.
(k) The commission shall establish congressional and
legislative districts pursuant to a mapping process in
accordance with Federal and State law.
(l) Each plan drawn under this section shall provide that
any vacancy in the General Assembly that is filled under the
plan, occurring at a time that makes it necessary to fill the
vacancy at a special election shall be filled from the same
district that elected the senator or representative whose seat
is vacant.
(m) The commission, within 30 days prior to the deadline for
approval of a preliminary plan as set forth in subsection (o)
(1), shall schedule and conduct at least four public hearings in
different geographic regions of this Commonwealth.
(n) All commission meetings that are attended or
participated in by a quorum of the members of the commission
held for the purpose of deliberating official business of taking
official action shall be open to the public.
(o) (1) Not later than June 15 of the year the commission
is constituted, the commission shall complete and approve a
preliminary redistricting plan and maps as required under this
section and make the preliminary plan and maps available to the
public in a manner prescribed by law.
(2) The commission, within 30 days following the deadline
for approval of a preliminary plan as provided in paragraph (1),
shall schedule and conduct at least four public hearings, in
different geographic regions of this Commonwealth, on the
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preliminary plan.
(3) Not later than August 1 of the year the commission is
constituted, the commission shall approve a final redistricting
plan. The commission shall transmit the plan adopted under this
paragraph to each House within two days.
(4) Within 15 days of the receipt of a transmission under
paragraph (3), the General Assembly may reject a final
redistricting plan through the adoption of a resolution by both
Houses. A resolution under this paragraph shall not be subject
to section 9 of Article III.
(5) Upon approval under paragraph (3) and unless a final
plan is rejected under paragraph (4), the commission shall
certify the resulting plan to the Secretary of the Commonwealth,
and that plan shall constitute the certified final plan when the
time for rejection of a plan under paragraph (4) has elapsed.
(6) If the commission fails to approve a final plan in
accordance with paragraph (3) or if a final plan is rejected
under paragraph (4), the following shall apply:
(i) Not later than September 1 of the year the commission is
constituted, the commission shall complete and approve a second
preliminary redistricting plan and maps prepared in accordance
with subsections (j) and (k) and make the second preliminary
plan and maps available to the public in a manner prescribed by
law.
(ii) Within 15 days following the deadline for approval of
the second preliminary plan as set forth in subparagraph (i),
the commission shall schedule and conduct at least four public
hearings, in different geographic regions of this Commonwealth,
on the second preliminary plan.
(iii) Not later than October 1 of the year the commission is
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constituted, the commission shall approve a final redistricting
plan. The commission shall transmit the plan adopted under this
paragraph to each House within two days.
(7) Within 15 days of the receipt of a transmission under
paragraph (6)(iii), the General Assembly may reject a final
redistricting plan through the adoption of a resolution by both
Houses. A resolution under this paragraph shall not be subject
to section 9 of Article III.
(8) Upon approval under paragraph (6)(iii) and unless a
final plan is rejected under paragraph (7), the commission shall
certify the resulting plan to the Secretary of the Commonwealth,
and that plan shall constitute the certified final plan when the
time for rejection of a plan under paragraph (7) has elapsed.
(p) If the commission does not complete and approve a final
redistricting plan or if a final redistricting plan is rejected
under paragraph (7) by October 16 of the year the commission is
constituted, the commission shall expire.
(p.1) If the commission expires under subsection (p), the
General Assembly may enact a redistricting plan.
(p.2) If the commission expires under subsection (p) and a
redistricting plan is not enacted under (p.1) by December 31 of
the year the commission is constituted, the Supreme Court shall
have the power and the exclusive jurisdiction to adopt a
redistricting plan from among redistricting plans submitted to
the Supreme Court.
(q) The commission has the sole legal standing to defend an
action regarding a certified final plan and shall inform the
General Assembly if it determines that funds or other resources
provided for the operation of the commission are not adequate.
(r) (1) The Supreme Court has original and exclusive
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jurisdiction in all proceedings that a certified final plan is
challenged or is claimed not to have taken timely effect.
(2) An aggrieved person who is a registered voter in this
Commonwealth may file a petition with the Supreme Court within
30 days after the commission has certified a final plan to the
Secretary of the Commonwealth to bar the Secretary of the
Commonwealth from implementing the plan on the grounds that the
filed plan violates the Constitution of the United States, the
Constitution of Pennsylvania or any Federal or State statute.
(s) Upon the filing of all redistricting plans required
under this section and the exhaustion of all appeals of a
redistricting plan:
(1) the commission shall expire and the commission's
responsibilities shall terminate; and
(2) the final plan shall have the force of law and the
districts provided in the plan shall be used thereafter in
elections to the General Assembly until the next redistricting
as required under this section.
(t) The General Assembly shall appropriate sufficient funds
for the compensation and expenses of members and staff appointed
by the commission and for other necessary expenses. In addition
to necessary expenses, the members of the commission shall
receive a per diem for each day or part of a day spent
performing their official duties. The per diem shall be the most
recent per diem rate for locations in this Commonwealth as
established and published by the United States General Services
Administration.
(u) A district that does not include the residence from
which a member of the Senate was elected whether or not
scheduled for election at the next general election shall elect
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a Senator at the election.
(v) The following words and phrases when used in this
section shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection
unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Commission." The Legislative and Congressional
Redistricting Commission.
"Federal census." The decennial census required by Federal
law to be conducted by the United States Census Bureau in every
year ending in zero.
"Immediate family." A parent, spouse, child, brother or
sister.
"Member." A member of the Legislative and Congressional
Redistricting Commission.
"Plan." A plan for legislative and congressional
redistricting drawn under the requirements of this section.
Section 2. (a) Upon the first passage by the General
Assembly of this proposed constitutional amendment, the
Secretary of the Commonwealth shall proceed immediately to
comply with the advertising requirements of section 1 of Article
XI of the Constitution of Pennsylvania and shall transmit the
required advertisements to two newspapers in every county in
which such newspapers are published in sufficient time after
passage of this proposed constitutional amendment.
(b) Upon the second passage by the General Assembly of this
proposed constitutional amendment, the Secretary of the
Commonwealth shall proceed immediately to comply with the
advertising requirements of section 1 of Article XI of the
Constitution of Pennsylvania and shall transmit the required
advertisements to two newspapers in every county in which such
newspapers are published in sufficient time after passage of
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this proposed constitutional amendment. The Secretary of the
Commonwealth shall submit this proposed constitutional amendment
to the qualified electors of this Commonwealth at the first
primary, general or municipal election which meets the
requirements of and is in conformance with section 1 of Article
XI of the Constitution of Pennsylvania and which occurs at least
three months after the proposed constitutional amendment is
passed by the General Assembly.
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