New Pennsylvania House and Senate district lines finally have been approved months after an earlier plan’s rejection.
The first redistricting plan was thrown out by the state Supreme Court for dividing too many municipalities and counties, and for creating sprawling districts that invited accusations of gerrymandering.
The latest approved plan includes fewer splits and more compact districts.
Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, cast the sole vote against it.
He says the Senate district plan splits at least 10 counties unnecessarily in a way that benefits Republicans.
“I’m very disappointed. I mean, we, this process has been going on almost a year and a half. And we actually are where we started from,” he said Friday. “That’s disappointing.”
But Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, says the final Senate map is a product of compromise with Democrats – and adds that there’s no single way to measure party performance in a district.
“Different people use different performance measures,” he said. “Do you look at municipal races; do you look at statehouse races, congressional races?”
Barring a successful court challenge – and Senate Democrats aren’t ruling out legal action– the new districts will take effect in 2014.