All Chester County Legislators Cosponsor Redistricting Reform Bills, Except for One

Pennsylvania Election

CHESTER COUNTY, PAChester County Senators Andy Dinniman (D-19), Timothy Kearney (D-26), and Katie Muth (D-44) recently added their names to cosponsor Senate Bills 1022 & 1023 which together create an independent redistricting commission to draw state legislative and congressional district lines.

Senate Bill 1023 was introduced this year by Chester County Senator Tom Killion (R-9). Senate Bill 1022 was introduced this year by Lehigh Valley Senator Lisa Boscola (D-18) and is also co-sponsored by Senator Killion.

These two Senate bills, which will together create and enable an independent redistricting commission, match exactly their companion bills in the House, House Bills 22 & 23. Currently, all Chester County legislators with the exception of one are cosponsoring the two bills introduced in their chamber of the legislature.

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Supporting both House bills in Chester County are Representatives Stephen Barrar (R-160), Carolyn Comitta (R-156), Tim Hennessey (R-26), Kristina Howard (D-167), Danielle Friel-Otten (D-155), Christina Sappey (D-158), Melissa Shusterman (D-157), Dan Williams (D-74).

Not cosponsoring the legislation yet is Representative John Lawrence (R-13), though Representative Lawrence posted a video on his website saying he supports an independent citizens redistricting commission, which he believes would restore some faith in government.

“When people lose faith in the process [of redistricting],” Representative Lawrence says in the video, “ I think they view the results with greater skepticism and that leads people to think that their voice doesn’t matter or that the system is rigged.”

Fair Districts PA is grateful to the legislative leaders in Chester County who have cosponsored this critically important legislation and urges them now to turn to their House and Senate colleagues to ask them to support these bills.

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The deadline for passage is fast approaching. The bills must be adopted by June in order to meet the requirements of amending the state constitution and organize the Citizens Commission in time to draw district lines after the 2020 census. Just last year the Senate passed similar legislation but it died in the House without a vote in the State Government Committee or the full House.

Carol Kuniholm, cofounder and chair of Fair Districts PA, will speak about gerrymandering and what we can do about it at the Coatesville Area Public Library on March 14th, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

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