The House State Government Committee voted 14-11 last Wednesday on a revised proposal that lays out the political boundaries for the state’s 17 Congressional districts. Establishing the new Congressional map is accomplished through legislation, requiring approval by the PA House, PA Senate, and governor.
The map, introduced as H.B. 2146 by Committee Chairman Rep. Seth Grove, R-York, is primarily based on a draft submitted by former Lehigh County Commissioner Amanda Holt through a public input process. It now goes before the full House for a vote.
Grove said he introduced Holt’s map because he said it was drawn without political influence; complies with constitutionally mandated criteria; satisfies equal population requirements; limits splits of townships, municipalities and other local subdivisions; and is comprised of districts that are compact and contiguous, all of which were highlighted as priorities by the majority of testifiers and residents throughout the committee’s extensive regional hearings and online public input process.
Holt’s map was one of 19 verified statewide maps submitted to the committee through its online mapping tool. Here, residents can view the updated map and offer public comments.
Pennsylvania currently has 18 Congressional districts, but will lose one seat based on 2020 Census data.
Relatedly, the five-member Legislative Reapportionment Commission on Thursday approved a preliminary set of Senate and House legislative maps. The panel voted 5-0 for the Senate plan and 3-2 for the House plan, with Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward and House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff voting in opposition.
The Commission’s vote triggers a 30-day period for the filing of exceptions by the public. If the exceptions are found to have merit, the PA Supreme Court will remand the maps back to the LRC for revision. If there are no appeals to the final map, it will have the force of law. If the final plan is not filed in a timely manner, the PA Supreme Court will move forward with reapportioning the Commonwealth on its own.
Timely approval on the maps is critical as candidates hoping to get on the ballot in 2022 can begin circulating petitions on Feb. 15, 2022.