HB 2420
Background and Procedural Information

House Bill 2420
was introduced on May 7, 2008 by Democrat Steve Samuelson.  The proposed legislation provides for reapportionment of Pennsylvania legislative and congressional districts.  

Under the proposed legislation, are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?

The legislation implies single-member districts of equal population.  

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?

Yes. The legislation states that previous election results, political affiliations of registered voters, and the addresses of incumbent legislators or congressmen may not be considered during the redistricting process.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

There are 5 members in the temporary commission, 4 of which are the majority and minority leaders of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, or deputies appointed by each of them. The 4 members then selects the fifth member, who serves as chairman of the commission. If the 4 members fail to select the fifth member, a majority of the entire membership of the Supreme Court will appoint the chairman.
Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

The legislation is silent on competitive districts; however, it does state that party affiliation and incumbency may not be considered.  

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?

Although the legislation does not permit members of the public to submit plans, it does require a minimum of 5 public hearings to be held regarding the proposed plan at different regions throughout the state.  

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

No. The legislation provides for redistricting to follow after each federal decennial census.  
November 19th 2005
Redistricting reform: How best to tackle ultra-safe districts
Sacramento Bee

FairVote's Rob Richie argues in commentary running in several newspapers that redistricting reformers must challenge winner-take-all elections.

November 16th 2005
In Canada, regular folks are put to work on reforms
San Jose Mercury News

Steven Hill prescribes a citizens assembly as a solution for achieving consensus on redistricting reform in California.

November 15th 2005
Citizens Must Drive Electoral Reform
Roll Call

Heather Gerken of Harvard Law suggests a citizens assembly as one means to achieve redistricting reform and buy-in from voters.

November 13th 2005
Arnold had the right idea about redistricting
The Herald News

The Herald News cites Fairvote with commentary about the dangers of Gerrmandering and redistricting obstacles.

November 13th 2005
ARNOLD AGONIZES: How the election changed the governor -- and California
San Francisco Chronicle

Article discussing the recent failure of redistricting reform in California and the potential solution in letting the citizens decide through a Citizens Assembly on Election Reform.

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