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Reed Puts Support Behind Redistricting Reform

State House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana) put his support behind reforming the way Pennsylvania draws its Congressional maps before he leaves the state House at the end of the year.

“I’ve heard a lot of comments from a lot of folks across the state with frustrations with our current redistricting process, and you know to be honest, I agree,” Reed told reporters according to State House Sound Bites.  

Reed’s comments put him opposite some members of his own party, including House State Government Committee Chair Daryl Metcalfe who has worked to stop any bill that would take power away from the legislature in redistricting.  

Reed said he will begin circulating a bill in the near future, and has been in discussions with other lawmakers about a proposal.  

“I think maybe we should look at it more like how we look at a jury selection process, where everybody gets put into the pool…you have less of a chance of folks gaming that system, and more of a chance of a truly independent commission,” Reed said.  

Reed also discussed possibly giving guidance about how districts should look.  

Any bill Reed would propose would have to go through Metcalfe’s committee, but Metcalfe hasn’t closed to door on working with Reed on a possible bill.  

“The majority leader and I have worked on a number of issues together. So if the majority leader introduces legislation and it’s referred to my committee–as it should be if it’s dealing with redistricting reform–I’d certainly be willing to take a look at it and work with the majority leader on his idea,” Metcalfe told State House Sound Bites.

7 Responses

  1. Why a new bill? What’s wrong with SB 22 or the original version of HB 722?

  2. Nice to see a commonsense approach to this non-partisan issue by a member of the GOP leadership. Obviously, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens as Metcalfe remains an impediment (and excrement) and sometimes the devil is in the details. Plus, if it involves a change to the Constitution, it means it has to be passed by the legislature twice. I truly hope something significant gets done though as the way it is now is too susceptible to political partisanship and a real loss for PA.

  3. It’s all around good politics for Dave Reed. Realistically, with Gov Wolf and the Supreme Court standing in the way of bulldozing the redistricting process it makes good sense to work with all parties to a redistricting solution-as the old saying goes “you get more with sugar than vinegar” and this may be such an occasion. Secondly, the Gov race is a fiasco with Mango and Wagner tanking and heading up a weak top tier ticket so why not position yourself for the next cycle for Gov? The secret will be to take a page from Tom Ridge who had less zealous approach to politics. Plus, I take Dave Reed at his word and that he feels it’s time for another look at redistricting. Finally, we seem to have entered a new moment in time where foreign governments are starting to meddle in our politics and this can be done for BOTH parties going forward so we’ll need more citizens to care about government and certainly non partisan redistricting set-up is a step in the right direction.

  4. I wish all the gay/non-gay legislators would start touching Metcalfe’s arm constantly, so that he’d die of Gay Panic apoplexy. Harriburg would smell so much better!

  5. Interesting that Dave Reed who showed up in Harrisburg as a young reformer might actually be growing a spine to really enact a true reform on his way out the door.

    Honestly, the only way to make fair PA Senate / House and US Congressional districts is to take the process away from the Harrisburg politicians of BOTH PARTIES. Give a citizens commission the power to draw lines based strictly on equal population bases with NO REGARD to voter registration, and then you would get a real representative legislative bodies in both Harrisburg and DC.

    1. CentPADem puts his finger on the districting issue. Districting is not based upon registered voters but it is based upon population and that makes a big different in the result because the number of registered voters is much smaller than and far different the population figure.

  6. Hooray for Dave Reed! Every Pennsylvanian wants a robust democracy where we battle it out in the world of ideas and see who can prevail with the public. But somewhere everything went off the rails and redistricting became a tool where parties gamed the system to their advantage every ten years. As a result, we see the public walking away from the political process while the world is shrinking with social media and communications revolution. Our great state and country will lose in the long run if we continue to game the system with this current unworkable matter of redistricting. It is essential in the name of having a thriving democracy to change once and for all the redistricting process so there are no more goofy kicking donald duck in the backside districts.

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