Harrisburg taking comments on 2nd try on legislative map

     

    The panel who failed in their first effort to redraw Pennsylvania’s House and Senate district lines have a new preliminary plan up for public comment.

     

    Some high-profile testifiers at the hearing agree on one thing: the latest reapportionment effort favors incumbent lawmakers over citizens.

     

    State Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati is objecting to a decision to move the district of a retiring state senator instead of a district that has lost more population.

     

    “Elevating the consideration of retirements in nothing more than a backdoor way of protecting incumbency.  pure and simple,” said Scarnati.

     

    Amanda Holt, the Lehigh County piano teacher who successfully challenged the last redistricting plan, says the latest effort violates the state constitution and laws designed to make districts equal in population.

     

    “This revised plan, rather than first serving the citizens and upholding our constitution, needlessly continues to sacrifice our constitution on the altar of incumbent preferences,” said Holt.

     

    A second public hearing on the latest plan is scheduled for next week.

     

    The first legislative redistricting plan got tossed out by the state Supreme Court for dividing too many counties and municipalities, and for including districts that were not sufficiently compact and contiguous.

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