Key Republican: PA Senate GOP Leaders "Open" To Redistricting Forum

Whether the same is true in the House, however, is another matter.

March 28, 2018 - 7:48 am

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HARRISBURG (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - With the dust not yet settled from a bitter battle over the shape of Pennsylvania’s Congressional districts, a state Senate committee yesterday heard hours of testimony about possible changes to the state’s redistricting process. And the panel’s chairman says it’s not just idle chatter.

The testimony before the Senate State Government Committee involved different proposals to create a citizens commission on redistricting.

The committee is chaired by Lebanon County Republican Mike Folmer, one of the plaintiffs in an unsuccessful federal lawsuit to block the Congressional map imposed by the state Supreme Court.

But in spite of that, Folmer says he and Senate Republican leaders are sincere in their willingness to consider changing the redistricting process.

“I never got the feel from my two leaders that they were looking about losing power here, in my discussions with them. That never came up.” Said Folmer

Folmer says the leaders were concerned about judicial overreach, and he believes the top Republicans in the GOP-controlled Senate are open to reforming the redistricting process.

One of the bills is sponsored by Democrat Lisa Boscola, who told the panel redistricting discourages independent-minded legislators.

She says she was threatened by her own party leaders when she was in the House.

“Oh, yeah. They told me that if I kept up voting with Ridge at the time, Governor Ridge, that I was going to be X’d out of my House seat. Now guess what happened to me? I went through the redistricting cycle, but… I ran for the Senate so they couldn’t me.” Said Boscola

Whether the same is true in the House, however, is another matter.