Senator Mike Regan represents District 31 in the Pennsylvania Senate, an oddly shaped district that includes parts of Cumberland and York counties. Senator Regan is also on the State Government Committee, the first stop for Senate Bill 22, which aims to end gerrymandering by reforming the legislative redistricting process. As a resident of Senator Regan’s district, I wanted to know his position on PA Senate Bill 22.
Getting a response proved rather difficult. I received no response from his website’s contact form or his Facebook page. After several calls to his offices, I finally got a call back from his district director, Bruce McLanahan.
Mr. McLanahan spent several minutes discussing the issue with me. He said that it’s “early in the process” and Senator Regan has only briefly looked at SB22. However, he did say that Senator Regan is “fine with how [the redistricting process] is now,” and that the current system has “checks and balances.” He did say that Senator Regan will evaluate the bill more fully as the process continues.
I certainly hope he does, because the current redistricting process is most definitely not “fine.” Despite constant budget fiascos over the past several years, 86% of Pennsylvania state senators and representatives ran unopposed in the primary and 48% had no challenger from the other party in the general election. The “checks and balances” don’t work when one party controls both the legislature and the state Supreme Court, as was the case during the 2010 redistricting process. The current system produced the third-worst district boundaries in the nation (according to the Electoral Integrity Project). Change is necessary.
If you support SB22 and redistricting reform, I encourage you to contact your state senator, particularly if he or she is on the State Government Committee, like Senator Regan. We have a real chance to fix the deadlock in Harrisburg, but change will only happen if citizens demand it.
You can learn more about the fair district movement at fairdistrictspa.com