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Pa. Commission Gives Preliminary Approval To Redistricting Map

(The Pennsylvania capitol, in Harrisburg.  File photo)

(The Pennsylvania capitol, in Harrisburg. File photo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – The panel created to redraw state House and Senate districts in Pennsylvania has given preliminary approval to a new plan for the first time since the state Supreme Court rejected the map it approved late last year.

Under the plan given preliminary approval, to account for population shifts, the state Senate seat held by recently convicted Allegheny County Republican Jane Orie would move to the Poconos. But Chester Republican Dominic Pileggi, the Senate majority leader and one of five members of the Reapportionment Commission, had proposed to move the seat of an incumbent Allegheny County Democrat instead.

“It is the best we can achieve today,” Pileggi told reports after the panel’s vote. “It is not what I think is the decision that is driven by the numbers, which is how I would proceed.”

The plan given initial approval would eliminate proposed Senate district splits in Darby and Upper Darby. A hearing on the new plan is now set for May 2nd. If the new plan wins final approval, it won’t take effect until 2014.