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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 12, 2021 01:54 PM
From: Senator David G. Argall
To: All Senate members
Subject: Qualifications of Legislative Reapportionment Chair
Article II, Section 17 of the Pennsylvania Constitution provides for the establishment of a Legislative Reapportionment Commission in years following the federal decennial census.  Such a Commission must be established this year with 2020 being a decennial census year. The purpose of the Commission is to develop reapportionment plans for the 50 senatorial districts and 203 representative districts.

Commission membership is also constitutionally established:  Senate and House majority and minority leaders and a fifth member chosen by these four to serve as chair (if the four leaders cannot agree, the chair is appointed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court).

Because history has shown the chair is key to the redistricting process, I believe it is essential that person have no political ties.  For this reason, I plan to introduce legislation to provide for the chair’s qualifications – a Pennsylvania citizen who has:
  • Voted in two of the last three elections;
  • Not registered (or has a spouse registered) as a lobbyist the past five years;
  • Not been nominated (or has a spouse nominated) as a candidate the past five years;
  • Not served (or has a spouse) as staff or officer of a political party the past five years, and;
  • Has not served (or has a spouse) as staff of an elected official the past five years
The Commission chair would also be required to complete and file a financial disclosure report prior to taking office and one year after leaving office.

I hope you will join me in cosponsoring this important reform.

Introduced as SB441