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Redistricting Debate

It’s a topic that usually stirs a lot of debate political redistricting.

But this year with other election related headlines, redistricting so far has generated little public response.

The latest dispute concerns a very small segment of the population state prison inmates.

State Representative Kerry Benninghoff on the amount of public response to this year’s redistricting work. Benninghoff is one of four state lawmakers on the legislative reapportionment
commission, thats in the process of redrawing the State House and Senate district boundaries.

Its done every ten years, after a Federal Census count. The commission recently deciding on a new policy to count state prison inmates. They’ll be considered part of their
hometown population rather than in the community where their prison site is located. Benninghoff voted against the change.

“Well I’m dismayed by the whole thing.its probably gerrymandering at its worst because you’re essentially accounting for populations that the census did not account for in places
where people don’t live”

As an example, Benninghoff points to one of two of the state prisons in Centre County, SCI Benner

“There’s 44 hundred inmates there, the state pays for their residency there, but there are other costs that occur time to time, if there’s a fight and the police and Emts are
called.its borne upon the local county to pay for that, but yet their population numbers are redistributed from counties where there’s no financial interest”

Democrats though support the inmate policy change. There’s currently close to 37 thousand state prison inmates.

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