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.  
June 18th 2006
Where politicians dare to tread
San Francisco Chronicle

The San Francisco Chronicle editorial board endorses the British Columbia Citizens Assembly approach to electoral reform, specifically noting the potential for proportional representation in California.

March 21st 2006
Real redistricting reform is proportional representation
San Francisco Examiner

Rob Dickinson of Californians for Electoral Reform writes a commentary on how recent proposals to make the redistricting process fairer miss the mark. For real progress in how we elect our representatives, we need to turn to proportional voting.

March 1st 2006
Tanner redistricting bill gains Senate sponsor
The Hill

Senator Tim Johnson introduced a companion bill to Rep. John Tanner's federal redistricting reform legislation. The identical bills, supported by FairVote, would set up state commissions to handle redistricting only once a decade.

December 20th 2005
Overhaul of state electoral system sought

Following on the heels of the defeat of redistricting reform in California, Republican and Democratic legislators plan on introducing legislation to create a citizens assembly for election reform and discuss proportional voting for the state.

December 11th 2005
A Dramatic Idea for Election Reform
New York Times

A Times reader highlights the fundamental weakness of any single-member district-based system: gerrymandering is unavoidable.

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