Maps reflecting the new congressional districts should be released in the next couple of weeks.
Republican state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, chairman of the House State Government Committee, said it is common for state legislative redistricting to occur first, followed by the release of congressional maps.
“We’re expecting to see action within the next couple of weeks,” he said.
Congressional redistricting plans are referred to each chamber’s state government committee.
“The deadline is before petition circulation occurs in January,” he said. “Our staff has been working on the maps and on the districts crunching the numbers.”
He said legislation that will be the vehicle for the revised maps that take the number of U.S. House seats from 19 to 18 based on the latest census is in both the House and the Senate.
The legislation does not include preliminary maps. Metcalfe explained that while House and Senate districts have to be within 1 or 2 percent of each other, congressional districts need to be much more exact.
“It’s a lot different than the state legislative maps,” he said. “The courts have set a precedent ruling that districts are evenly divided only by an individual.”
Metcalfe said that the House maps, which were released Oct. 31, will be finalized before congressional maps are released. There is a 30-day comment period before final maps are released.
Metcalfe did not release any map details; however, he said they will reflect population shifts to the eastern part of the state. Although some may be critical of the districts, the lines are drawn to capture a certain population, he said.
“When you have a host of precincts across the state and you’re trying to divide as few municipalities as possible, it takes some maneuvering to make sure the districts are going to work,” he said. “Funny shaped districts capture the right populations.”
Along with Metcalfe the leaders of the state government committees are, in the Senate, Republican Sen. Charles McIlhinney and Democratic Sen. Anthony Williams. The Democratic chairman of the House committee is Rep. Babette Josephs.
For more information on redistricting visit www.redistricting.state.pa.us.