Pa. House and Senate seat maps released, 30-day public comment period open

Pennsylvania Politics

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Maps for state house and senate seats were released on Thursday. For a change, Democrats are supporting and applauding them and Republicans are expressing concern.

The legislative reapportionment commission unveiled the preliminary maps in a hearing. The Senate version passed unanimously by a 5-0 vote. But the house version, which Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff called a partisan gerrymander, passed 3-2, with Chair Marc Nordenberg siding with Democrats. A 30-day public comment period has begun and changes can be made.

“We heard some expressions of unhappiness today. It would be nice to see how those expressions might translate into concrete ideas for change,” Nordenberg said.

“Here’s an example of the 84th district. Those of you want to know how the word gerrymandering started, it was this reptilian-looking map. Well, the 84th district of Pennsylvania, you have a better fed reptilian map that is just as gerrymandered,” Benninghoff said.

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“Decades of gerrymandering in previous reapportionment cycles resulted in districts and election outcomes that were not fairly representative of Pennsylvania. The preliminary plan presented today substantially corrects the wrongs,” Minority Leader Joanna McClinton (D) said.

You can view and comment on the maps through the link here.

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