HARRISBURG – June 13, 2018 − State Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) today commented on the passage of Senate Bill 22 by the Pennsylvania Senate.
The proposed constitutional amendment now awaits consideration by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. After it receives approval from both the House and Senate, it must then be considered in its exact form during the next legislative session by both chambers. If again approved by the House and Senate, the proposal will go before the Pennsylvania electorate for ratification.
If the proposal reaches the ballot box, there will be two referendums for voters to consider. Senator Aument’s proposal to create seven Supreme Court judicial districts, 15 Superior Court judicial districts and nine Commonwealth Court judicial districts would be one referendum and the redistricting reform ballot question would be the other.
“Since I was first elected, I’ve waited to vote for a bill that fixes Pennsylvania’s gerrymandering problem,” Leach said. “I believe that gerrymandering is an existential threat to our democracy. I was very excited to vote for SB 22 in its original form, but the Republicans inserted an amendment that is nothing but a poison pill. Senator Aument’s amendment is a deal breaker. This is an attempt to gerrymander Pennsylvania’s courts, but they have disguised it as a bill that fixes gerrymandering, all to dupe Pennsylvania voters. We are not fooled.”
“Senate Bill 22 allows the legislature, and the legislature only, to draw districts for our courts,” Leach said. “This will result in one political party likely drawing districts that perpetuate their power. There is nothing about gerrymandered districts that give people a voice. This is nothing but a Republican power grab. We are on the cusp of actually making progress on this issue, and then Republicans put this poison pill in the bill to kill this effort. Anyone who reads Senator Aument’s amendment knows exactly what it is.”
“This is not about our team winning or their team winning. If all we ever do is vote so that our team wins then the people of Pennsylvania will never win,” Leach said. “There is an easy way to tell if a political reform bill is real and good reform. Is it a bipartisan effort or is it one party forcing their will on the other? There is no good political reform when one party all votes one way and the other party all votes the other way. SB 22 was originally meant to give Pennsylvanians their voices back, but the Republicans destroyed that effort by making this another piece of partisan legislation.”
Senator Daylin Leach represents the 17th Senatorial District, which includes parts of Montgomery County and Delaware County. He is also the Democratic Chairperson of the Senate Judiciary Committee. For more information visit www.senatorleach.com/newsroom.