Senate State Government Committee to vote on SB22

The Senate State Government Committee will vote on May 22 on a proposed amendment to Senate Bill 22, then on the amended SB 22 itself.

Fair Districts PA supports the Folmer amendment to Senate Bill 22 (Amendment A07149) and asks Senate State Government Committee members to support A07149 and to vote YES on the amended Senate Bill 22.

We believe the Folmer amendment retains the vision of an independent citizens commission, adds important safeguards for both process and product and addresses key concerns raised by legislators in both houses and both major parties.

Like the original Senate Bill 22:

Unlike SB 22, the selection process would allow legislators a role in the selection process while adding important safeguards for commission independence, strengthening the need for bipartisan approval, and adding language constraining the drawing of maps to ensure compactness and minimal splits of counties and municipalities:

Some specific provisions are left to future implementing legislation, which could include:

We believe the Folmer amendment is a fair compromise with the original proposal, addresses a variety of legislative concerns, and is a vast improvement over the current system which cuts the voters out of the process of drawing districts.  

If the amended Senate Bill 22 is approved by the full Senate and House, Pennsylvania will rank second only to California in the degree of independence of the body that decides how the lines are redrawn every ten years.