Pending litigation cited
Harrisburg – September 19, 2017 – State Sen. Anthony H. Williams’ (D-Philadelphia) request for a hearing on redistricting reform measures was rejected by the chair of the Senate State Government Committee due to “pending litigation on the drawing of maps,” Williams said today.
“I am very disappointed that the Senate State Government Committee will not hold a hearing on proposed redistricting reforms,” Williams said. “This is a critical issue that deserves a formal hearing.
“There is a groundswell of public opinion aimed at a reexamination and reform of how congressional and legislative lines are drawn.”
Williams made the formal request for a hearing via a letter to committee chair, Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon). Williams serves as Democratic chair of the committee.
The Philadelphia lawmaker is a veteran of the legislative process and has been involved in two redistricting rounds. Based on his experience and knowledge of the process, he said that a hearing on redistricting reforms could be crafted so that any matters that may be involved in pending litigation would be avoided.
“The issue of redistricting reform is critical and the partisanship associated with drawing lines and limiting voter choice must be addressed,” Williams said. “The public needs to have comfort that congressional and legislative lines are being drawn fairly and that their voices are being heard.”
In the letter, Williams said that “a hearing the facts at hand, including the history and legal basis of our current system of reapportionment, a comparative study of how other states handle this process, as well as alternative strategies for future decennial redistricting in Pennsylvania, is necessary to begin the process of addressing those concerns.”
Williams’ also serves as Senate Democratic Whip.