HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania lawmakers are preparing for congressional redistricting.
Pennsylvania will lose a congressional seat next year due to population shift.
State leaders are in the process of holding hearings across the state in an effort to offer more transparency, while they await more data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The state legislature is powered with drawing state congressional districts.
The process is being redone because Pennsylvania is losing a congressional seat, because of slowed population growth over the previous decade, noted in the most recent census count.
From 2010 to 2020, Pennsylvania's population grew 2.4%.
"That is a smaller percentage increase than other decades when the state grew by 3.4%," said Jennifer Sholtz, with the Pennsylvania State Data Center.
The state is still awaiting detailed data from the census, expected in August. At that point, the public will be able to draw and submit their own congressional maps.
It's a new step in the process, as last time districts were redrawn, lawmakers did not hold any public meetings or include public input.
The boundaries were later changed by the state Supreme Court.
In the first public hearing Thursday, members of the House State Government Committee heard expert testimony and were allowed to ask questions.
"I find it hard to believe Pennsylvania wasn't undercounted. So how did we get the 99%, or what can you tell us specifically in terms of the overall county?" said Pa. Rep. Joe Webster, a Democrat who represents part of Montgomery County.
There were two separate hearings set for Thursday.