PA voters support an independent citizens redistricting commission, with clear, measurable map-drawing standards and rules for transparency, and public engagement. To get there we also need to fix Harrisburg’s legislative rules that slam the door on bipartisan solutions.
For years, Pennsylvania’s legislative rules have put all agenda-setting power in the hands of committee chairs and legislative leaders. The result is a stark divide between bills enacted and policies sought by the large majority of Pennsylvania voters. Despite promises to the contrary, the situation is growing worse. Recent rule changes have shut out minority party voices almost completely. The 2021-2022 session appears on course to be one of the least collaborative and least productive on record.
Pennsylvania has pressing problems that demand bipartisan collaboration and real solutions. It’s time for new rules that ensure good bills with broad support are given a vote. And it’s time to make sure legislators from all parts of the state and across the political spectrum have a meaningful role in deciding what bills are enacted.
We need rules that guarantee bipartisan solutions can receive a vote:
Such rules would ensure every legislator has the ability to play a meaningful role in deciding what bills are enacted.
We are assessing the recent process - what worked, what needs improvement and what was missing. We are researching recently created independent citizens redistricting commissions to better understand best practices to inform a constitutional amendment to establish a citizens commission in PA.
Some elements of reform are clear:
Past bills (links to to come) will provide a starting place, with adjustments made based on lessons learned through the 2022 redistricting process in Pennsylvania and other states.