Wednesday April 25, 2018
Behavior by Republican-led panel unacceptable.
It seems the Pennsylvania Constitution may not apply to Daryl Metcalfe, majority chairman of the House State Government Committee, who engineered a gutting of House Bill 722. The legislation originally sought to establish an independent, transparent citizens commission that would determine electoral districts without interference from politicians, political leaders and legislative operatives. HB 722 had co-sponsorship from more than half the state House.
According to our constitution, "No law shall be passed except by bill, and no bill shall be so altered or amended, on its passage through either House, as to change its original purpose."
In place of the original intention of HB 722, Metcalfe proposed a commission composed entirely of politicians, four from the majority party at the time of redistricting and two from the minority party, ensuring that gerrymandering would continue in Pennsylvania.
Metcalfe proposed his replacement without understanding it, as questions by committee members revealed; without sharing it with members of the committee; and with less than 24 hours' notice and only 30 minutes of discussion. It was passed by the members of the committee along party lines.
If anyone needs proof of the lack of accountability and representation that results from gerrymandering, look to Metcalfe, who was elected by a fraction of his gerrymandered district and has run roughshod over our state constitution and the interests of the people of Pennsylvania.
I urge readers to call, email or visit their state legislators and tell them this is unacceptable. We must end gerrymandering, now.
Lawmaker a symbol of corrupt system