June is final frontier for Pennsylvania redistricting bill

June 02, 2018 - 11:01 am

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — An issue that had little oxygen keeping it alive could absorb Pennsylvania's Capitol during June's days of budget-making.

Some top Republican lawmakers are joining the effort to overhaul how Pennsylvania draws its legislative and U.S. House district boundaries.

That's after Pennsylvania's highest court dealt Republicans a stinging loss in a congressional gerrymandering case.

For years, a handful of lawmakers — primarily Democrats — and advocacy groups pressed the case to create an independent citizen line-drawing commission, in theory to depoliticize the process.

But if no bill passes in the coming weeks, it becomes impossible to amend the state constitution before 2022, when every state must redraw districts.

Sen. Mike Folmer says he's not thinking that far ahead and just wants to get a bill through the Legislature by July 6.

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