Our Assembly leaders have shown their true colors, confirming what voters already know: party leaders put party interests ahead of voters’ interests. Since 2017, politicians have heard demands to end gerrymandering. Despite overwhelming public support, including 66 percent of Republicans, reform bills died in committee. Sadly, our self-dealing political leaders will be gerrymandering new election districts in 2021. Although new bills are in the House and Senate specifying strict criteria to require open meetings and accountability, their passage is uncertain.
Twisting the dagger, the Republicans, led by Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman and House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, supported by Garth Everett, and despite bipartisan opposition, recently rammed through HB196, a proposed constitutional amendment that will allow themselves to gerrymander judicial districts. This egregious bill has to pass again before the public gets a referendum vote. Because it’s a constitutional amendment, the Governor’s signature is not required.
Pennsylvania doesn’t need regional representation in the Courts — that’s the Assembly’s job. State laws are not variable by region.
With no public hearings or amendments considered, where was the extended thoughtful deliberation and transparent process expected for a constitutional amendment? The only thing transparent here is the partisan revenge for the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision that said gerrymandering violates the state constitution and that resulted in redrawn competitive Congressional maps.
Call your legislators to oppose judicial and all other gerrymandering and to support the criteria bill HB2638. Mention that your vote depends on results. These legislators, our employees, deserve to be fired for ignoring voters. At the next election, vote the gerrymanderers out.
Submitted via Virtual Newsroom