Credit: Commonwealth Media Services

Senate GOP Seeks To Include Judicial Elections In Redistricting Changes

The legislation comes after a bitter battle over new maps imposed by the state Supreme Court.

June 13, 2018 - 8:09 am

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HARRISBURG (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - As state lawmakers consider legislation on a new procedure for drawing up Congressional maps, the Senate has added language to change judicial elections that one Democrat calls a “poison pill.”

The legislation comes after a bitter battle over new maps imposed by the state Supreme Court.

The Senate Tuesday overwhelmingly approved an amendment that aims to create an independent commission to redraw Congressional maps.

But heated debate followed on another amendment to the redistricting bill, passed with Republican votes, that would see appeals court judges elected by districts, not by a statewide vote. 

Democrat Daylin Leach saying “We are on the precipice of actually making some progress on this issue. And we put this poison pill in this to kill this effort.” Said Leach.

But Republican Ryan Aument, the sponsor, says the amendment is about fairness…

“Only 15 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties are home to an appellate court judge.” said Aument.

The bill is now poised for a final Senate vote.