See what we’ve already accomplished—and what needs to happen next.
Our goal is to change the state constitution before the next redistricting cycle—which begins in 2021, when the next U.S. Census results are finalized. That’s no easy task, but we’re well on our way.
Bills have been introduced in both the PA House and Senate that would create the independent citizens commission needed to make our redistricting process fair and transparent. Here’s what else needs to happen over the next three years:
2017-2018: Either the PA House or the PA Senate must advance its fair districts bill to a vote, pass it, and send it to the other legislative arm to be passed there as well. If separate bills are passed in the House and the Senate, then they typically go through reconciliation (which is the process of turning two slightly different bills into one final piece of legislation). These steps needs to happen by July 2018.
2019-2020: Both houses must approve the same bill again in the next consecutive legislative session, which starts in January 2019.
August 2020: This is the deadline for the bill to pass both houses for the second time to provide the required three-month window for advertising before the November general election.
November 2020: If passed by both chambers of the legislature in time for the advertising deadline, the bill will then go to a public vote for approval during the 2020 general election.
See an infographic of the process
It may sound daunting, but we believe the current bills—SB 22 and HB 722—are our best chances for success. And when citizens vote on fair district policies, they tend to win. That means our biggest hurdles are right in front of us: getting through the next two legislative cycles.
PA Senate Bill 22
Introduced: February 16, 2017 by Senators Lisa Boscola (D) and Mario Scavello (R)
Current status: Referred to the State Government Committee on February 27, 2017
Read and track SB 22 online
See the current list of cosponsors
SB 22 is currently waiting for action from the State Government Committee. Here’s what we need to happen next:
- Scheduled for action: The committee chair needs to schedule SB 22 for action. This might include holding hearings or considering amendments.
- Voted out of committee and sent to the floor: The bill needs to win approval from a committee majority and move to the Senate floor, where it may be amended further before going up for a vote.
- Passed in a final vote: The bill must be passed by a majority of state senators in a final vote.
If this happens before HB 722 passes in the PA House, then SB 22 will go to the House for approval there.
PA House Bill 722
Introduced: May 8, 2017 by Representatives Steve Samuelson (D) and Eric Roe (R)
Current status: Referred to the State Government Committee on May 8, 2017
Read and track HB 722 online
See the current list of cosponsors
HB 722 garnered dozens of cosponsors before it was officially introduced on the House floor—but it still has a ways to go. Now that it’s been referred to the State Government Committee, here are its next steps:
- Scheduled for action: The committee chair needs to schedule HB 722 for action. This might include holding hearings or considering amendments.
- Voted out of committee and sent to the floor: The bill needs to win approval from a committee majority and move to the House floor, where it may be amended further before going up for a vote.
- Passed in a final vote: The bill must be passed by a majority of state representatives in a final vote.
If this bill moves faster than SB 22, it could be passed in the House and then sent to the Senate for approval. Otherwise, if SB 22 passes first, it will supersede this legislation.
If your legislators don’t yet support these bills, speak up. Show your elected officials that their constituents demand fair redistricting policies.
Write an op-ed
Contact your legislator