Pa. GOP supports plan to give majority party more power over redistricting

Pa. GOP supports plan to give majority party more power over redistricting
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Republicans in the Pennsylvania House are supporting a measure that would give the majority party in the legislature more power over drawing redistricting.

GOP lawmakers on the House State Government Committee voted Wednesday in favor of a proposal that would amend the state constitution to create a commission to draw new legislative and congressional districts every 10 years, The Associated Press reported.

Under the measure, the GOP and Democratic caucuses in the House and Senate would each pick a member. Two other members would be selected by the full House and Senate to fill out the six-member panel.

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New maps would have to be approved by five of the six members on the panel. Lawmakers would vote on the maps if the commission couldn’t reach an agreement.

The Wednesday vote did not move the amendment out of the committee and chairman Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R) did not say if he plans to have the committee vote to send the plan to the House floor.

Gov. Tom Wolf (D) slammed the proposal as “an affront to our democracy” and “partisan politics at its worst.”

"After the last few months, it should be clear that the solution to our broken redistricting system is not putting more power in the hands of partisan politicians," he said.

The proposal comes after the state Supreme Court in January ordered that congressional districts be redrawn after finding they were the result of unconstitutional gerrymandering by Republicans.

GOP lawmakers have moved to impeach the justices behind the decision.