Lawmakers stalemated on congressional map, top senator says

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Pennsylvania's state Senate majority leader said Monday that a partisan stalemate remains unbroken on a new map of congressional district boundaries for the state, and she predicted that the state's highest court will end up settling the matter.

Pennsylvania, like most other states, must redraw its congressional district boundaries to account for a decade of demographic shifts in time for 2022's elections.

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Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward, R-Westmoreland, told a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon that Senate Republicans have tried unsuccessfully thus far to broker an agreement between the Republican-controlled House, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and Democratic lawmakers.

“It just comes down to we can't agree, the governor's going to veto anything that's not what he produced and the courts will end up drawing maps,” Ward said.

Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward, R-Westmoreland, speaks during a meeting of the Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission at the Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. The commission voted Thursday in favor of new preliminary district maps over sharp objections from the House's Republican leader about how his chamber's district lines would change. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

As recently as Monday night, Democratic lawmakers rejected a Republican counteroffer, Ward said.

Monday was also the court-imposed deadline for parties — including Wolf, Republican lawmakers and Democratic lawmakers — to submit proposed maps to it.

The Commonwealth Court issued the order earlier this month, acting on a request last month for it to get involved in the process. It set a Jan. 30 deadline for it to render its judgment on proposals that are submitted to it.

That deadline is barely two weeks before the date — Feb. 15 — when candidates can start circulating petitions to get on primary election ballots. The primary election is May 17.

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