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Current issues of concern

Information about current issues of concern to all Pennsylvanians. REDISTRICTING

Hot Topics: Redistricting

THE CLOCK IS TICKING FOR REDISTRICTING

According to the PA House legislative proposal for HB 722, April 2017, "According to a recent study by the Electoral Integrity Project (EIP), Pennsylvania ranks third worst in the nation for the fairness of its electoral boundaries -- only Wisconsin and North Carolina scored worse. When politicians manipulate district lines to benefit themselves and their parties, the public always loses."

In order to change the current process, citizens need to vote to amend the State Constitution. This is what has to happen:

The Calender

By July 2018: PA House and Senate must agree on a bill and pass it.

By August 2020: BOTH Houses must approve the same bill AGAIN in the next legislative session which starts January 2019. This deadline provides the required three-month window for advertising the bill before the November 2020 General Election.

MAKING IT HAPPEN

Fair Districts PA is a nonpartisan, citizen-led statewide coalition working to create a process for redistricting that is transparent, impartial, and fair. For complete coverage of the effort, visit <http://www.fairdistrictspa.com>.

Fair Districts is holding informational meetings across the state.

Suggestions for citizen action are listed on the website.

A number of PA municipalities have passed resolutions supporting the effort to make redistricting fair.

LEGISLATIVE ACTION

Current PA House and Senate bills:

House Bill 722 and Senate Bill 22 have been introduced and referred to their respective State Government Committees. Both bills seek to amend the State Constitution in order to change the current process of redistricting from a partisan system to a nonpartisan process. Both bills have bipartisan co-sponsors.

The process for each bill is the same. The bill needs to be scheduled for action and the committee majority needs to approve it so it can move to the floor for consideration, possible amendment and a vote. Whichever bill moves first, it will supersede the other.

For more information on these bills go to <http://www.legis.state.pa.us>.