WELLSBORO – Members of the House State Government Committee heard from citizens and community leaders in the state’s north central region Tuesday at the fourth in a series of regional hearings about the upcoming congressional redistricting process.
Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) hosted the hearing held at the Wellsboro Fire Annex.
“I want to thank everyone, from committee members to testifiers to audience members, for taking the time to participate in this important hearing,” Owlett said. “We often feel forgotten here above I-80 but our State Government Committee, on which I serve, is making it a priority this year to offer people in all regions of the state the opportunity to share their comments and concerns about the redistricting process that will impact our representation in Congress over the next decade.”
The committee heard from nine testifiers, including county commissioners from Tioga and Union counties, leaders of the Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce and Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, executive director of the Allegheny Hardwood Utilization Group, and several citizens. All expressed their desire for fairness in the redistricting process and for keeping their counties and communities “whole” within the boundaries of a single congressional district to ensure the rural communities of north central Pennsylvania are well-represented in Washington, D.C.
“We have committed to conducting the most open and transparent redistricting process ever, and these regional hearings are a vital part of that process,” Owlett said. “I will certainly do all I can to ensure the plan meets the needs of our Northern Tier communities.”
Congressional redistricting is undertaken every 10 years based on data collected during the decennial census. Pennsylvania currently has 18 congressional seats but will be dropping down to 17 based on census results. Congressional districts are drawn via legislation that must be approved by both the House and Senate and signed by the governor.
More information about congressional redistricting, as well as additional opportunities for public input, are available at PARedistricting.com
Representative Clint Owlett
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia Hippler