The North Hills area is set to have new legislative representation—and not just because of former Sen. Jane Orie’s resignation from office last month following her conviction on corruption charges.
A revised legislative map approved last week moves the 40th District—formerly represented by Orie—to the other side of the state.
In a 4-1 vote, the legislative reapportionment committee—which is tasked with redrawing legislative boundaries based on population shifts from the 2010 census—gave final approval to the revised GOP-sponsored plan.
Under the plan, Orie’s territory—which encompassed parts of northern Allegheny County and southern Butler County—moves to Monroe and Northampton counties on the eastern half of the state to reflect growth near the New Jersey border.
The North Hills— including Pine, Richland and Ross township—will become part of the 38th District represented by Sen. Jim Ferlo, D-Highland Park.
The legislative committee consists of Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, House Minority Leader Frank Dermody and former Superior Court Judge Stephen McEwen.
Costa, D-Forest Hills, who called the map gerrymandered and containing “way too many inexplicable and unnecessary partisan county splits” cast the lone dissenting vote in the plan's final approval.
“The final map is the product of a broken and bewildering process in which the public was ignored and negotiation was illusory,” he said in a statement. “The map is a total disappointment.”
He did not rule out filing a state Supreme Court challenge like the one in January that brought down the first Republican-drawn map.
The redistricting plans will take effect for the 2014 elections.
What do you think of the plan? Leave your thoughts in the comment section.