Pennsylvania State Capitol, Harrisburg. Photo: Waldteufel – Fotolia

The Pennsylvania Senate State Government Committee on April 9 approved statewide redistricting reform legislation that would amend the state’s constitution to establish an 11-member independent citizen’s commission to redraw congressional and state legislative district maps.

Senate Bill 22, whose prime sponsor is Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-Northampton, would require significant public input, apply sound map-drawing standards and establish a fair process for final map adoption.

Boscola said it is “imperative” that a reformed process be in place by the fall of 2021, following the 2020 U.S. Census.

“You cannot reform government without reforming the redistricting process,” she said. “I am committed to seeing this more equitable process become law. Senate Bill 22 would separate politicians from the actual map-drawing process. Voters should choose their elected leaders, not the other way around.”

The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.