State redistricting map upheld by Supreme Court

Author: , Reporter, RDuarte@wfmz.com
Published: May 08 2013 08:00:00 PM EDT   Updated On: May 08 2013 10:53:39 PM EDT
HARRISBURG, Pa. -

It's official, Pennsylvania's Supreme Court has made its ruling on the state's legislative districts.

Last year, the court rejected the original plan drawn up by a Republican committee, calling it unconstitutional.

So the committee went back to the drawing board and came up with the revised map which has now been passed in a 6-0 ruling.

"Every time we have a new census and population shifts around the state that means you have to move seats to where the population grew and take away seats from where you saw a decline in population" said Chris Borick Professor of Political Science and Director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion.

The growth in population in Eastern Pennsylvania, helped shift seats from Western PA and add them to other districts.

The Poconos in Monroe County gained a new Senate seat and Allentown added a new house seat which helps reflect the growth in the Hispanic population.

“When you have a concentration of a certain group like Hispanic individuals in Lehigh county and in Allentown, you want to make sure that group gets representation” said Borick.

City leaders like council president Julio Guridy, said there's no more reason for the community to complain about lack of representation.

“I think Allentown needed a new district and it's a district that represents everybody in the city so there's no excuse, anybody can run” Guridy said.

The approval is being viewed as a political win for the Republican party which drafted the new lines and according to Borick the new lines will sway in their favor “This plan will continue to make it a tougher battle for democrats to regain control of either the house or the senate so Republicans on the whole will probably be happy with the decision today”he said.

However, Guridy said the shifts represent a win for everybody “It's necessary that we have the best representation possible in Harrisburg for our community, regardless of the culture or the ethnic background” he said.

The new lines will go into effect in 2014 and will all the way through the 2020 election.

Then new lines will be drawn according to that year's census and will go into effect in 2022.