The battle lines continue to be drawn, but the end is in sight. It was thought that the PA Senate would reach an agreement this week and approve a map redrawing Pennsylvania into 17 congressional districts. But, not so fast, my friends. The Senate adjourned this week without taking up a vote on the matter setting up a showdown next week with the Governor and the House of Representatives. Earlier this month, the House sent a map to the Senate redrawing the state congressional boundaries, but over the weekend Governor Tom Wolf put his own map plan out casting doubt into the process of whether he would sign the proposal working its way through the General Assembly that seemingly was a compromise between Republicans and Democrats. So, the Senate retreated a bit and will continue to work on the proposal as they carry into next week. The state Commonwealth Court, however, issued a “mandate” for the governor and General Assembly to come to an agreement by January 30 or they will step in and decide what map will be put in place for the upcoming congressional primaries. So, one way or another the end is in sight—either via a legislative compromise with the governor or a final decision issued by the state courts.
The separate process redrawing the 253 state House and Senate districts is still ongoing as the state Legislative Reapportionment Commission concluded a series of public hearings over the weekend. By law, the commission had to hold hearings on the preliminary maps it approved last month. Those hearings occurred over the past several weeks and now the commission will meet to approve final legislative maps. Once that occurs, the maps will become final pending any intervention by the courts that almost is certain to occur. For a look at the preliminary maps, GO HERE.
Upcoming schedule. Both the state House and Senate return to Harrisburg next week for a full week of voting session. The General Assembly has currently scheduled voting days on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.