Last call: Final public hearing for Pa. redistricting plan concludes

    At last week’s public hearing, some giving testimony blasted the commission for kowtowing to incumbent lawmakers instead of heeding population changes.

    This time, similar concerns came to the fore.

    Several testifiers say the most recent plan to move a Clearfield County House district only after that district’s representative announced he would retire stinks of incumbent privilege.

    A comment from Kim Kesner, the Clearfield County solicitor, drew a rare retort from the chairman of the commission, emeritus judge Stephen McEwen.

    “Judge McEwen, as a jurist, you know that the Supreme Court will not be moved merely because a political bargain was the best that was available, if it’s contrary to law,” said Kesner.

    “I didn’t know the Supreme Court was going to reject the first plan,” quipped McEwen.

    The legislative reapportionment commission has until mid June to vote on final maps.

    The Senate Majority Leader says he hopes a final vote happens by the end of the month.

    The panel’s first set of redistricting maps was tossed out by state Supreme Court for unnecessarily dividing too many municipalities and counties, and for less-than-compact districts.

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