March 16, 2011

First Legislative Reapportionment Commission Meeting March 23

The four legislative members of the Legislative Reapportionment Commission – Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware), House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny), Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny), and House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny) – this week announced the Commission's first public hearing will be held on Wednesday, March 23.
            In January, the caucus leaders announced that they were seeking applications from individuals interested in serving as chair of the 2011 Commission. More than two dozen people submitted their names for consideration. All of those applicants have been invited to participate in the March 23 hearing.
            The hearing is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. in Room 8E-B of the Capitol Building. Media coverage is encouraged. The entire hearing will be recorded and posted to the Internet.
            The LRC is a five-member panel responsible for redrawing the boundaries for state Senate and state House districts to reflect population changes over the past decade as measured by the federal census. 
            Article II, Section 17, of the state constitution names the four caucus floor leaders as members of the Commission. They are to choose a fifth member, who serves as chair of the LRC. The deadline for a decision is April 4.
            The constitution requires that the chair of the LRC be a citizen of Pennsylvania who does not hold a local, state or federal office to which compensation is attached.
            Previous LRC chairs include retired Supreme Court Justice Frank J. Montemuro, Jr., in 2001, attorney Robert J. Cindrich in 1991, James O. Freedman, Dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1981, and Professor A. Leo Levin of the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1971.
            If the floor leaders do not reach agreement on an individual to serve as chair of the LRC, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will make the appointment no later than May 4.