Blake, D-Archbald, Lackawanna County, represents the 22nd Senatorial District. He said Wednesday that he didn’t expect a dramatic change in his district, but he no longer represents parts of Monroe County and he has picked up most municipalities in the Wyoming Area School District – towns that had been represented by Sen. John Yudichak, D-Plymouth Township.
“I’m somewhat surprised by the reapportionment plan due to the marginal population change that occurred in the district over the past 10 years,” Blake said. “As a member of the Senate Democratic Caucus, I take great exception to the implications and motives of the Republican approved draft redistricting plan as it raises serious Constitutional and voting rights questions.”
Gov. Tom Corbett, in the Hazleton area Wednesday, said redistricting has been going on for decades and the political party in the minority is always upset when realignment is proposed.
“Honestly, I haven’t even had time to look at the maps,” Corbett said. “But really, when hasn’t redistricting received criticism from the other side?”
In the 14th Senatorial District, Yudichak will lose the boroughs of Luzerne, Swoyersville, Exeter, West Pittston, West Wyoming, the city of Pittston, Jeddo and Freeland boroughs and Foster Township. The district would also lose Pocono and Tobyhanna townships in Monroe County. In Carbon County the district would shed Mahoning Township.
The 14th District would add Heidelberg, Lynn and Washington townships and Slatington borough in Lehigh County; Allen, East Allen, and Lehigh townships and Bath and Walnutport boroughs in Northampton County; and in Carbon County Parryville and Bowmanstown boroughs, and the townships of Penn Forest, Towamensing, Lower Towamensing and Franklin.
Yudichak said it is his hope that the final redistricting plan will not split Luzerne County among multiple senatorial districts as proposed in the preliminary plan.
“Luzerne County needs to be made as whole as possible when it comes to representation in the Senate,” Yudichak said. “I will continue working with my Senate colleagues to see what action can be taken before a final plan is adopted.”
Sen. Lisa Baker, R-Lehman Township, noted that Monroe County will now be its own district, something the residents there fought for over the years.
“I am pleased that the 20th Senatorial District remains largely intact,” Baker said. “While it is disappointing to no longer represent people with whom I have a good working relationship, changes are necessary to bring the population in line with Constitutional requirements. The people of Monroe County have pushed long and hard to be represented through a single senate district, so that is a positive aspect of the new plan.”
In the 20th District, Baker will no longer represent Price and Middle Smithfield townships in Monroe County; Fairmount, Huntington, Nescopeck and Salem townships and Nescopeck and New Columbus boroughs in Luzerne County; and will add Foster Township and Freeland and Jeddo boroughs in Luzerne County.