HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The deadline to submit congressional redistricting maps is Monday. The governor already expressed his dislike of the map passed in the state House.
On Friday, state senators held a hearing on two he would sign.
Gov. Wolf put forward two maps this past Saturday that he would accept. One was drawn by him and the other is a citizen-drawn map, compiled using more than 7,000 submissions.
It’s a last-minute push to work across the aisle to put a fair congressional map on the governor’s desk.
Get daily news, weather, breaking news, and sports alerts straight to your inbox! Sign up for the abc27 newsletters here.
“These are partisan decisions, even if we don’t necessarily want them to be partisan decisions,” said Sen. Dave Argall (R-Berks/Schuylkill), chairman of the Senate State Government Committee. “You draw a line here, you may accidentally help Republicans you draw a line you know, an inch over you may accidentally help Democrats.”
The House passed a congressional map last week, originally drawn by Amanda Holt but Governor Wolf said he doesn’t think it’s fair and put forward two he does like.
“You don’t have to accept either one of these. But I’m saying it’s incumbent on me to say this is what you should look at as an example of a fair map,” Wolf said.
One was drawn by Wolf. The other was a citizen map, using data compiled by Draw the Lines, a project of the Committee of Seventy.
“We ended up with 7,211 Citizen mappers drawn from 40 of the 67 counties and those 40 counties represented 90% of the state’s population,” said David Thornburgh, senior advisor of the Committee of Seventy.
Argall wishes Wolf would’ve entered the conversation sooner.
“What’s the old saying better late than never. And so I do think it may have been helpful,” Argall said. “There was a lot of common agreement in the two maps that he submitted to us.”
One of the big concerns was splitting up communities, as Sen. Kristen Phillips-Hill (R-York County) pointed out with the citizen-drawn map.
“The split that you did in York County not only divided a county it divided school districts, it actually divided the municipality of North Hopewell Township where you divided people’s farms,” Phillips-Hill said.
While there’s still a lot to figure out before Monday, lawmakers and mapmakers say Friday’s hearing was helpful.
“There are multiple proposals that the chair and many members have presented. and so those who are concerned, yes, we are negotiating. That’s a part of our job as members as we’re constitutionally required to do,” said Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia County.)
Argall says lawmakers will be working over the weekend on these maps and the goal is to run an amendment on the floor of the Senate on Monday.