|Posted:||October 6, 2021 01:30 PM|
|From:||Representative Ed Neilson|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Improving Representation on the Game Commission's Board of Commissioners|
|The current arrangement of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s (PGC) eight districts disproportionately distributes representation among the PGC’s Board of Commissioners. The Eighth District has more than twice the population of the next largest, the Second District.
The PGC manages its portfolio of the Commonwealth’s wildlife resources by demarcation into eight districts, each represented by one Game Commissioner. The Commissioners function as a board of directors, establishing policy for the agency. Each Commissioner is nominated by the governor and confirmed by the senate, representing their geographic area for four-year terms. An individual can serve three consecutive terms as a Commissioner.
Due to the population distribution of the Commonwealth, some Commissioners represent many more citizens on the Board than their colleagues. The largest representative disparity is in the Eighth District, in the southeast, which has 5,372,111 residents. By comparison, the second largest district in western Pennsylvania has 2,250,053 residents. That is why I am introducing legislation that divides the PGC’s Eighth District into two separate districts, creating a Ninth District. The Eighth District currently includes the counties of Berks, Bucks, Chester Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Schuykill. The new Ninth District would include only Berks, Lehigh, Northampton, and Schuykill counties, representing a total of 1,259,406 residents. With this division, the hunters of the southeast will be better represented on the PGC’s Board of Commissioners in both the Eighth and Ninth Districts.
My bill also lowers the number of Commissioners needed to constitute a meeting quorum from six to a simple majority of five. Given past difficulties in the timely filling of vacancies, this change allows the Board to conduct business when it could not have previously. Please consider joining me to improve the representation and function of the PGC’s Board of Commissioners by cosponsoring this legislation.
Introduced as HB2241