Monday May 7, 2018
Setbacks won't deter determined group.
Our state House and Senate Government Committees have been stalling bills to improve the way our legislative districts are drawn. Committee Chairman Mike Folmer has held hearings in the Senate but has not scheduled a vote on SB 22.
But even worse than stalling, House committee Chairman Rep. Daryl Metcalfe has gutted and contaminated HB 722, amending the bill to make the district drawing process even more political.
Gerrymandering has become more evil over the years, dividing communities so legislators can maximize their influence and keep their seats secure. One of the best examples of the process gone awry is Berks County having been split into four congressional districts. The party in power uses the process to pick its voters rather than the reverse. This is not a Republican or Democratic issue, it is a democracy issue.
The original HB 722 and SB 22 would establish an independent commission to draw legislative district maps. The bills would take decisions for where the lines are drawn out of partisan, political hands and put them into the hands of an 11-member independent commission. The bills craft a method to avoid extreme gerrymandering when reapportionment and redistricting occur after the next census. Learn more at www.fairdistrictspa.com.
Gerrymandering foes aren't going to give up