Pa. House moves redistricting bill, uncertain about making deadline

Six redistricting measures now await House floor consideration — though Pennsylvania GOP Leader Dave Reed said the most likely bill will be one the Senate passed last week.
(AP, file)

Six redistricting measures now await House floor consideration — though Pennsylvania GOP Leader Dave Reed said the most likely bill will be one the Senate passed last week. (AP, file)

Pennsylvania’s House has kicked forward several major proposals to overhaul the state’s redistricting process.

However, there is next to no consensus among members on the best approach to take.

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

That plan gives the legislature and governor significant control over picking members of an 11-member citizens commission on redistricting, It also includes a contentious provision to elect appellate judges by district.

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

“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, Reed said he isn’t sure. And he’s hedging his bets on whether the overhaul will be finished by the July 6 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. If one passes the chamber, it almost certainly won’t happen until next week.

And if the state budget is finalized this week, it’s unclear if lawmakers will even stay in session that long.

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