HARRISBURG – Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25), Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-28), Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34) and House Majority Leader-elect Bryan Cutler (R-100) issued the following statement about Governor Wolf’s Executive Order creating a state Redistricting Reform Commission:
“With no input from the General Assembly, the Governor issued an Executive Order where he turned his back on both the state and federal constitutions and embarked on another go-it-alone strategy. The Governor has created a Commission that ignores large swaths of the Commonwealth, specifically rural communities, and charged Commission members with a responsibility that he does not have the authority to give.
“This spectacle only serves as a distraction to the work the legislature has been doing to examine the redistricting process in Pennsylvania. We will not be props in his theater that is an attempt to be a make-shift alternative to the federal and state constitutions and will have no practical effect. The fact remains that under the constitutions the responsibility for redistricting falls to the General Assembly.
“Just like with his listening tour last year, which produced no meaningful contributions to the redistricting conversation, the Governor can grandstand on redistricting all he wants. We will continue to do the real work of examining the redistricting process in a manner that is constitutionally sound and will produce fair maps through a fair process.”
Redistricting is a process that must be completed, with the number of Congressional seats reapportioned among the states and the redrawing of Congressional district lines, every 10 years following the decennial census. The authority to draw Congressional districts is explicitly assigned to the state legislatures in the Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Similarly, the Pennsylvania State Constitution provides that state legislative lines are drawn by the Legislative Reapportionment Commission. This process was adopted at the Constitutional Convention of 1967-68. Neither constitution delegates this authority to the Governor.
Speaker of the House Mike Turzai
Majority Leader Bryan Cutler
Pennsylvania House of Representatives