Bethlehem, December 16, 2021 – State Senator Lisa Boscola today slammed the preliminary State Senate maps released today by the Legislative Reapportionment Commission as unconstitutional and an assault on the Lehigh Valley.
“These maps are unconstitutional and a direct assault on the communities of interest in the Lehigh Valley in the name of political gamesmanship,” Boscola stated. “The people of the Lehigh Valley should stand up and take notice that Harrisburg leaders are trying to water down our communities. It is embarrassing and the people who drew these maps owe us an explanation.”
While the Lehigh Valley would maintain representation by three State Senators under the preliminary proposal, it would split the Lehigh Valley’s two largest cities and two largest school districts.
“Breaking up the two largest cities and two largest school districts is indefensible. The Constitution says we don’t break up municipalities unless absolutely necessary,” Boscola said. “This proposed map breaks up the City of Allentown and the City of Bethlehem unnecessarily. Make no mistake I will fight for better maps for the residents of the Lehigh Valley, even if it requires me to take my challenge to the Supreme Court.”
Being the leading proponent in the General Assembly for the need for redistricting reform, Boscola noted that this is another prime example of why an independent citizens commission free from political influence is so critical in the Commonwealth.
“These maps are further evidence of why we need an independent commission to draw legislative maps, not leaders of each party trying to protect their friends. No independent commission would propose this map,” Boscola added.
Boscola’s legislation to create an independent citizens commission would require strict transparency rules that are not required of the Legislative Reapportionment Commission.
“In typical Harrisburg fashion, behind closed doors with no transparency, leaders in Harrisburg put forth new maps that put their own political self-interests ahead of our Commonwealth’s Constitution,” Boscola stated.
The commission has 30 days after filing the preliminary plan to make corrections in the plan. Additionally, any person aggrieved by the preliminary plan has the same 30-day period to file exceptions with the commission in which case the commission has 30 days after the date the exceptions were filed to prepare and file with the elections officer a revised reapportionment plan. Following the commission’s approval of a final plan, any aggrieved person may file an appeal from the final plan directly to the Supreme Court within 30 days after the filing.