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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: February 5, 2016 04:15 PM
From: Representative David Parker
To: All House members
As many of you may be aware, my home county has been the poster child for the problems associated with our system of legislative redistricting. Based on the 2001 redistricting maps, Monroe County was split among six Pennsylvania Senate districts. This was, thankfully, corrected in the latest round of redistricting.

In the near future, I intend to introduce a joint resolution that would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution concerning legislative and Congressional redistricting. By creating a citizen commission to draw redistricting maps with updated standards, this proposal would ensure a more open, transparent process and a more inclusive, fair result.

My proposal, which will be designated as House Bill 1835, would apply the current state legislative redistricting standards of population equality, maintenance of political subdivisions and compact/contiguous districts to Congressional redistricting. Further, the standards would be enhanced by including such additional requirements as encouraging competitive districts and taking into account communities of interest when drawing district boundaries. Finally, HB 1835 would prevent a repeat of Monroe County’s six-Senate-district-split by tying the number of legislative and senatorial districts more closely to county population numbers.

The independent commission tasked to draw these lines will not be beholden to incumbent politicians or political parties. It will hold public hearings to consider input from the citizens of the Commonwealth and would work within time constraints to ensure the foundational principle of our democratic system, that is, “one person, one vote.”

Introduced as HB1835