BREAKING: I have pulled my support for House Bill 722
I alerted you last week to the precipitous partisan attack on House Bill 722, which had long sought to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to establish an independent citizens commission for redistricting of the state’s legislative districts. The bill had bipartisan support and more than 100 co-sponsors, including myself. Yet it had been mired in the House State Government Committee for nearly a year, consigned to the sidelines by the Republican leadership in that committee, Majority Chair Daryl Metcalfe.
All that changed last week, when Chairman Metcalfe abruptly amended the bill, rewriting it and distorting its intent.
He replaced House Bill 722’s provision for an independent redistricting commission made up of non-governmental citizens with a six-member panel of legislators, four to be chosen by party leaders — one each by the Republican and Democratic leaders in each chamber of the legislature — and two “at-large,” one each chosen by the general membership of each chamber. Because both the House and the Senate in Harrisburg are largely Republican, the panel in charge of drawing the district maps would be made up of four Republicans and two Democrats if Chairman Metcalfe’s provision were in place today.
That is not the bill onto which I signed.
As a result, I have pulled my name from House Bill 722. Fifty-one other co-sponsors have pulled their support as well. Anyone committed to a fair redistricting process, not one that is partisan in nature and rigged in favor of one political party over another, would have no choice but to do the same.
I am now supporting House Bill 563, which, like the original House Bill 722, seeks to establish an independent citizens commission for redistricting of the state’s legislative districts. This bill, which is also supported by Rep. Steve Samuelson, the prime sponsor of House Bill 722 in its original form, will hopefully be discharged from the State Government Committee in the near future to be heard in the House chamber.
As always, if you have any questions about these bills or any others, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my district office at (215) 572-5210 or RepMcCarter@pahouse.net. And for my part, I will continue to keep you up to date on any new developments on House Bill 722, House Bill 563 and the redistricting process in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania State Representative
Serving Cheltenham Township, Springfield Township and Jenkintown Borough