A bill in the state House to reform the drawing of state House and Senate (it doesn’t affect Congress) districts is dying due to the inability of a bureaucrat to do his job. In a column in today’s Inquirer Chris Satullo outlines the bill and it’s potential.
Steve Samuelson introduced HB 2420 and it was assigned to the State Government Committee. Babette Josephs (Committee Chair) then asked the Legislative Reference Bureau for comment and they refused. After some discussion over the meaning of the term “community of interest” the bill is being redrafted.
Now, admittedly, that term is vague and could be defined any way a nefarious person may want but this is a critically important bill which must be passed.
Of course getting any bill through the constitutional process in Pennsylvania is difficult and convincing legislators to jeopardize their safely drawn districts is nigh on impossible. Recognizing this Satullo is urging citizens to contact their lawmakers and apply pressure for passage of the bill.
Legislators in Harrisburg only react to several stimuli: lobbyists with money and/or influence, the orders from their Party Majority Leaders who fund their offices and staffs, strong challengers for their seats, and the threat from voters back home to kick them out of office. These are in their order of importance.
A concerted effort of citizen lobbying is something they pay attention to where they know their voters are upset or concerned in large numbers. Contacting your Representative and Senator on these bills is important. Please do so.