Lawmakers work on new congressional map as time ticks down

Deadline this Friday to produce a replacement map

PITTSBURGH - Pennsylvania lawmakers are heading home with two days to comply with a court order to submit a new map of the state's 18 congressional districts.

Wednesday's voting sessions were canceled amid winter storms.

Rank-and-file Republicans said House Speaker Mike Turzai and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati are working on a new map and considering submitting it to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf by Friday's deadline without bringing it to a vote in either chamber.

The state Supreme Court struck down the Republican-drawn district boundaries in a gerrymandering case January 22 and gave lawmakers until this Friday to produce a replacement. Otherwise, the justices said they will adopt a plan, potentially one proposed by a party to the case.

Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, a defendant in a lawsuit over the current map, developed a new map using nonpartisan criteria and computer algorithms. Among the changes are making Berks County part of one congressional district again instead of the current four.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned down Turzai and Scarnati's request to halt the redrawing.

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