Pa. Senate approves controversial redistricting reform bill

Fate of bill now lies in House

Tony Romeo
June 13, 2018 - 7:35 pm



HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Over the strenuous objections of some Democrats, the state Senate has approved controversial legislation that could change the way congressional maps are drawn up — and the way Pennsylvania judges are elected.

The bill proposes amendments to the Pennsylvania Constitution, one of which would create an independent commission to redraw congressional maps. 

That part has broad support. Before the bill was passed and sent to the House, however, Senate Democrats continued to rail against a Republican amendment approved Tuesday that would have Pennsylvania appeals court judges elected by districts, instead of statewide voting. 

RELATED: Senate GOP seeks to include judicial elections in redistricting changes

But state Sen. Andy Dinniman voted for the bill, saying he could not pass up the chance for real reform of congressional redistricting.

"When and if this gets onto the ballot, I'll work very hard for a new approach to redistricting, and I'll work very hard against the regional election of judges," he said.

The two issues would appear as separate questions on the ballot. 

It is unclear what the House will do with the Senate redistricting bill.