State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

House moves redistricting bill, vacillates on making deadline

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Jun 20, 2018 3:40 PM
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House Republican Leader Dave Reed said he's not sure what sort of redistricting bill would be able to pass his chamber, and indicated he doesn't think meeting the bill's quickly approaching deadline is the "end-all-be-all."

 

(Harrisburg) -- The state House has kicked forward several major proposals to overhaul Pennsylvania's redistricting process.

However, there is next to no consensus among members about which approach is best.

All told, six redistricting measures now await House floor consideration--though GOP Leader Dave Reed said the vehicle bill will likely be one the Senate passed last week.

That plan gives the legislature and governor significant control over picking members of an 11-member citizen's commission on redistricting--plus it includes a contentious provision to elect appellate judges by district.

Reed noted, House members will want to put their own spin on it.

"I'm telling members, prepare your amendments and let's see where we go," he said.

But asked which approach might win support from the full House--much less the Senate--Reed isn't sure. And he's hedging his bets on whether the overhaul will get done by the July 6th deadline.

"I understand that folks kind of look at this July deadline as the end-all-be-all," he said. "I would like to have it done in time for the 2020 redistricting. If that's not the case but we can still change the process for the next hundred years, that's still a good outcome."

If lawmakers don't pass the amendment in time, the next year it would have an impact is 2030.

Friday is the soonest the bills can be brought up on the House floor -- but if one passes the chamber it almost certainly won't happen until next week.

If the state budget is finished this week, it's unclear if lawmakers will even stay in session that long.

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