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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 30, 2020 02:28 PM
From: Senator Lisa M. Boscola
To: All Senate members
Subject: Redistricting Reform - Establishing an Independent Commission by Random Selection
In the near future, I intend to re-introduce legislation that will amend our state’s constitution to reform the way that legislative and congressional districts in Pennsylvania are re-drawn.

For our government to work as it is intended, it must contain checks and balances. Yet our state’s current system empowers lawmakers to draw the very districts that they represent.

This joint resolution provides for a Redistricting Commission that is 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 be comprised 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.

Under the legislation, the Commission is required to develop a preliminary plan for Congressional and state legislative districts. After a series of public hearings across the state, the Commission will either approve or disapprove of the plan. In order for a plan to be approved, it must receive seven votes, with at least two votes coming from each of the Commission’s subgroups. In the unlikely event that the Commission is unable to agree on a plan, the bill would require that the Commission move to a process of elimination voting by a ranking of plans. The elimination voting process is a distinct change from past legislation because it keeps the responsibility for redistricting within the Independent Redistricting Commission until the process is completed.

​This legislation is supported by Fair Districts PA, and I would ask for your support in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB585