HARRISBURG – As state House and Senate redistricting impacts all residents of the Commonwealth, the House State Government Committee today approved legislation to create a citizen-driven commission charged with redistricting, committee Chairman Rep. Seth Grove (R-York) said.
House Bill 2207
, sponsored by Grove, would create the Citizens’ Legislative Reapportionment Commission to truly put the reappointment process in the hands of citizens.
“This bill would take politicians who have a stake in redistricting out of the reapportionment process and would, for the first time ever, make it a purely citizens’ initiative,” Grove said. “This process would ensure decennial reapportionment is nonpartisan and puts residents’ voices ahead of party politics.”
House Bill 2207 calls for the Citizens’ Legislative Reapportionment Commission to be comprised of 11 Pennsylvanians. Eight members of the commission would be selected at large by the General Assembly. To ensure the group would be nonpartisan, members and their spouses must not have held public office or held a state or federal job; been registered as a federal or state lobbyist; or been nominated as a candidate for office or served as a staff member or officer of a political party, political body, political committee or political action committee for at least five years prior to serving on the commission. Counties would vote to select two additional members and the final member would be a former Commonwealth Court judge selected by current Commonwealth Court judges.
The General Assembly would then be charged with adopting the maps created by the commission.
House Bill 2207 would amendment the state Constitution. The bill would have to approved by the General Assembly in two consecutive session before it would go to the voters.
The committee also advanced the following election reform bills:
• House Bill 1201
would amend the Election Code to shift the duty for determining the wording of the questions and the explanations of ballot questions to the Legislative Reference Bureau.
• House Bill 1614
would require enough ballots to be printed and supplied to each precinct for 50% of all registered voters in that precinct in each party for a primary election, and 100% of all registered voters in that precinct for a general election.
• House Bill 1663
would require voting machines be manufactured in the United States and sold by a vendor with a primary place of business within the United States.
• House Bill 2093
would remove the ability of candidates for school boards to cross-file nomination petitions.
• House Bill 2163
would allow poll watchers, recruited by a candidate, to work in any county where that person is needed and not limited to only the county where the poll watcher resides.
A recording of the hearing can be viewed by clicking here
All bills now go to the full House for consideration.
Representative Seth Grove
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross