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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 8, 2018 11:04 AM
From: Senator Lisa M. Boscola
To: All Senate members
Subject: Congressional Redistricting Reform and Establishing an Independent Citizens Commission for Redistricting
I plan to introduce a Joint Resolution to amend the Pennsylvania State Constitution to reform our Redistricting Process in the Commonwealth. The premise would effectively model a break-through, bipartisan compromise recently put forward in our neighboring state of Ohio. The objective would be to require a three-fifths vote of passage in each legislative body on proposed reapportioned maps for Congressional Districts. In the event that the General Assembly would be unable to meet the required three-fifths support, an eleven-member bipartisan Redistricting Commission would be tasked with developing and approving new maps.

This Redistricting Commission shall be solely comprised of independent citizens. Individuals that apply to serve would go through a process for appointment that includes a series of random selections by lot.

Based on statewide voter registration numbers, this independent citizens’ Commission will consist of:

  • 4 individuals registered with the largest political party in the state;
  • 4 individuals registered with the second-largest political party in the state; and
  • 3 individuals with affiliations that are not of either of the two largest parties.

The Commission would be required to develop a plan for state legislative districts, and Congressional Districts if the General Assembly was unable to gain support on a three-fifths vote. After a series of public hearings across the state, the Commission will either approve or disapprove of the plans. In order for a plan to be approved, it must receive seven votes, with at least one vote coming from each of the Commission’s subgroups.

Introduced as SB1060