HARRISBURG – To the Editor,
Readers of Town and Country might have seen recent letters discussing legislative and congressional reapportionment and redistricting in Pennsylvania. Similar letters, from different authors but containing the same wording, have appeared in other publications.
The letters seem designed to sow confusion over an already complex situation. I would like to offer some clarity here.
Every 10 years, the U.S. Census is used to determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as for drawing congressional and legislative district maps.
The Pennsylvania Constitution provides for a Legislative Reapportionment Commission to redistrict the state Senate and the state House in the year following the census. The commission consists of five members: two Democrats and two Republicans, and a chairperson selected by those members or, if they cannot reach agreement, by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Congressional boundaries, meanwhile, are redrawn through legislative action and submitted to the governor to be signed into law.
You can follow the work of the Legislative Reapportionment Commission at www.redistricting.state.pa.us. The process is orderly and deliberate, but it’s good to explore new procedures. That’s why, in recent years, I supported legislation to create an Independent Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment and Redistricting Commission to perform the duties of reapportionment and redistricting.
I supported that legislation because I could read it and agreed with it. The letter-writing campaign targeting Town and Country and other publications demands that I discuss redistricting legislation that has not even been approved by a Senate committee. The bill could change, turning any discussion into a pointless exercise – something already too common in government.
I hold countless meetings with constituents and value the frank, informed discussions we have. There is no substitute for good-faith exchanges with citizens harboring no hidden agenda.
Senator Bob Mensch, 24th Senatorial District
For more information on Senator Mensch’s legislation, visit www.senatormensch.com. State updates can also be found on Senator Mensch’s Facebook at facebook.com/PASenatorBobMensch/ or Twitter @SenatorMensch.
CONTACT: Madison Scarfaro email@example.com (215) 541-2388