Aug. 24, 2021

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin), a member of the Legislative Reapportionment Commission, voted against a proposal Tuesday to reallocate how some state prisoners are counted for purposes of state legislative redistricting.

Following the vote, Benninghoff made the following statement:

“I have been and remain committed to a fair, open and legal redistricting process. As such, I strongly believe that the decision as to how state inmates are counted is a policy decision outside the scope of the Legislative Reapportionment Commission’s powers and should only properly be considered by state constitutional amendment or, at the very least, through the legislative process.

“Outside of that, the proposal that received a majority vote is seriously flawed. By its own admission, this plan is still a work in progress and gives no certainty to when we might have final redistricting data to begin drawing maps. In addition, this proposal creates differences over which prisoners are counted and which prisons can be included in the reallocation. It also treats prisons separately from other ‘group quarter settings’ as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, leading to unequal treatment across similar settings.

“Given today’s decision by a majority of the commission, and the further delay prisoner reallocation will cause in finalizing population data, I now have serious concerns about the ability for the Legislative Reapportionment Commission to finalize maps on a timeline that would not impact the 2022 primary election date.”

Representative Kerry Benninghoff
Pennsylvania House Majority Leader
171st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Jason Gottesman
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