HARRISBURG – House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) on Tuesday morning voted in support of a resolution offered by Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) during a meeting of the Legislative Reapportionment Commission.
This would put additional guidelines on how prisoner reallocation data is to be compiled and counted by, among other things, ensuring that individuals incarcerated to a minimum sentence expiring after April 1, 2030, will be counted at the prison at which they reside.
The resolution further fleshes out the decision by the commission at its last meeting to adopt a prisoner reallocation proposal that changes the long-standing practice of having state inmates counted where they eat, sleep and live at the time of the census—like every other Pennsylvanian—and instead counts them where they resided prior to incarceration.
“The concept of prisoner reallocation is one of the worst examples of gerrymandering that has legislators picking their constituents. However, the resolution from Sen. Ward provides some commonsense guardrails on the previously adopted departure from past practice, equal treatment, and the limited scope of the powers of the Legislative Reapportionment Commission,” Benninghoff said.
“I remain committed to a fair, open and legal redistricting process, but I continue to remain concerned with the legality and fairness of the prisoner reallocation proposal adopted in August, even with the adoption of today’s resolution.”