Redistricting Watch: Caucus Leaders Certified as Redistricting Commission Members
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25) and Speaker of the House Sam Smith (R-66) announced today that they have officially certified the four caucus floor leaders – Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-9), House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-28), Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-43), and House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody (D-33) – to serve on the 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Commission (LRC).
This is in keeping with the typical practice for reapportionment.
It will be interesting to watch how the three out of four commission members who hail from southwest PA decide on a final map. Most of PA’s population loss occurred in that region, and one would assume that it is up for the greatest reduction in seats.
The certification, required by Article II, Section 17(b), of the state constitution, was delivered this morning to Carol Aichele, Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth.
The LRC is a five-member panel responsible for redrawing the boundaries for state Senate and state House districts. Article II, Section 17, of the state constitution names the four caucus floor leaders as members of the Commission. They are to choose a fifth member, who serves as chair of the LRC. The deadline for that selection is 45 days from today’s certification, or April 4.
In January, the four caucus leaders announced that they are seeking applications from individuals interested in serving as chair of the LRC. To date, approximately two dozen applications have been received from a diverse group of individuals across the state. You can see a neat map of their home towns by clicking here.
The leaders indicated that at least one public hearing will be held in March to interview some applicants.