House Republicans’ plan for redistricting hearings and some other transparency measures

Written by on July 13, 2021

House Republicans’ plan for redistricting hearings and some other transparency measures

By Katie Meyer / WHYY
July 13, 2021

Pa. Rep. for Bucks County Wendi Thomas, joined by other Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers, announced changes to the process of redrawing U.S. congressional district lines on July 12, 2021, at her office. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania House Republicans are launching a website and planning a series of hearings to get public input ahead of lawmakers’ once-a-decade redrawing of the Congressional map, pitching the plan as the “most transparent” redistricting process Pennsylvania has ever had. 

State Lawmakers draw the maps for federal congressional districts which must pass through the House and Senate, and the governor has to sign them. A panel of lawmakers with one non-elected tiebreaker draws the maps for state house seats. 

Both happen every 10 years, after the census. 

It’s a fraught, partisan process that often ends up in the courts. 

But state Rep. Seth Grove (R-York), who chairs the committee that plays a key role in drafting the maps, says they’re trying to make Pennsylvania’s process different this time. 

“Looking back 10 years ago, if my memory serves, I think we did about three hearings and then a map was drawn. What we’re proposing here is significantly different. I don’t remember any public input this early on,” Grove says.  

Good government groups that support depoliticizing redistricting praised the GOP’s commitment to having a lot more public hearings but said they’d prefer legislation that creates a more official process.   

Those sorts of bills have repeatedly failed in Pennsylvania in recent years. 

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