The public criticizes the preliminary maps of the Pennsylvania House and Senate

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – New limits for state and Senate seats will be finalized in the coming weeks and will remain in effect for the next ten years. But the group that draws the cards has let the audience talk about it for the past two days, and they’ve made an ear out of it.

“Please do not divide the Municipality of Murrysville between two state lawmakers,” said Murrysville Mayor Regis Synan.

The public was allowed to comment on the proposed house and senate plans, and the public did. “The South Fayette School District is a self-contained school district. The proposed map would split it in half, ”said Douth Fayette Township Director John Barrett.

Maria Gutierrez fears that the increase in the Latin American population is not being adequately reflected in the legislature. “With these numbers, how can you explain that Pennsylvania never had a Latino senator and only had four Latino representatives?” asked Gutierrez.

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The complaints are hyper focused like the mayor of Murrysville asking not to be split between two representatives of the state. “If I need help at the state level, who do I go to? legislator A or legislator B? Do lawmakers A and B work well together? These are issues that a small town mayor does not want to address, ”Synan said.

Cartographers are forced to wade through the vague concept of communities of interest. They are not supposed to separate them. But defining them is not easy. “Sometimes maybe this is our parish thinking, sometimes we just can’t imagine that there would be a sense of community,” said Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R).

“An alternative would be to include northern Dauphin, with parts of Schuylkill, Lebanon and Northumberland County,” Jenn Handley said. She brought her own map and specific ideas on how to improve the commission’s preliminary drawings. “If there is an opportunity to make adjustments that are not too disruptive, I ask you to consider doing so. ”

The commission heard a lot of testimony about maps and boundaries. And hear more. But are they listening? President Mark Nordenberg says absolutely. “It would amaze me if there weren’t any changes to the preliminary maps before they were made final,” Nordenberg said.

Republican House Leader Kerry Benninghoff reiterated after two days of hearings it is clear changes need to be made. He believes the cards unfairly favor Democrats.

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