A once per decade battle in Harrisburg appears to have reached a stalemate.
The Republican controlled Legislature passed a new congressional district map yesterday, but Democratic Governor Tom Wolf has vowed to veto it.
Chrispen Havener looks at what would come next and the other map debate where the new battle lines will be drawn.
“Let’s face it, in order for a bill to become law, we need Republicans and Democrats to work together with the Governor or else it goes to the courts.”
But after a redrawn congressional map was created by a former Republican county commissioner adjusted by the GOP controlled Legislature and passed through the House and Senate on
Democrat Governor Tom Wolf saying this morning he will make good on his threat to veto it.
“I’m disappointed. I think the General Assembly moved forward with the map despite my best efforts to get to fairness, and that does not represent.”
That means, though likely won’t be a decision before the Commonwealth Court’s deadline on Sunday for them to get involved in the map making process, as they did in 1992 and 2018.
Once they pick redraw the map of record, it will likely get challenged to the state Supreme Court.
And with February 15th being the date the candidates can start circulating petitions to get on the May primary election ballots. It raises the prospect that the petition window will be
delayed, but it’s not the only battle lines being drawn up right now.
The Legislature doesn’t have to worry about a veto from Governor Wolf, but a lines of their own districts. The current House and Senate proposals are being tweaked by the committee
responsible for it, with changes likely to be announced later this week.
In the Senate, for example, Center County would be split up as Jake Corman leaves with Cambria County’s Wayne Langerholc and Jefferson County’s Chris Dush splitting it.
Among the big changes in the House Democrat Frank Burns would take over the city of Johnstown in the West Hills suburbs from Republican Jim Rigby.
“You hate losing those, those contacts that I’ve made over the last three years, you know, I ran to represent the 71st district. I didn’t necessarily run to represent Johnstown or Westmont
or South Moore. I certainly don’t like losing them, but I’ll continue to represent those in the 71st District here at the house the best that I can to my abilities.”
Burns has stated similar sentiments about the possible territorial changes. Now, once the Legislative Reappointment Commission, a five person panel composed of top party leaders and
chaired by independent member, approves its final versions.
There are still 30 days to bring challenges that a Pennsylvania Supreme Court, but for now, there’s no appetite to move back the May 17th primary date.