After postponing their next meeting indefinitely, at least one of the state Legislative Reapportionment Commission members -- House Majority Leader Mike Turzai -- is ready to get on with the show, calling for the panel to vote on new maps on Wednesday.
Turzai visited the Capitol newsroom scribes to drop off a copy of the letter he sent to commission chairman Stephen McEwen yesterday, asking him to schedule that meeting.
"We have been negotiating in good faith to reach an agreement on an updated plan," he wrote. "We have sought to move the process forward. ... I has been 33 days since the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued its opinion with a directive that the Commission should avoid 'delay as it is called upon to faithfully execute its task upon remand.'"
Senate Republican spokesman Erik Arneson replied: "We’ll be ready on whatever date the Chairman calls for a meeting and a vote."
The commission's executive director, Charles O'Connor, said this afternoon that the chairman has received the request, and had not yet shared a decision with O'Connor on whether to schedule a meeting. He added that he does not expect a scheduling decision today.
UPDATE, 5; 30 p.m. - House Democrats are disagreeing with Turzai's call for a vote on new maps next week:
"There has been good progress on the House plan in recent days, using a process suggested by Judge McEwen," said House Minority Leader Frank Dermody in a statement. "But the work is unfinished and the commissioners still have not cracked the toughest nuts. A vote next Wednesday would be premature. Without making more progress in reducing the number of municipal splits, the LRC will risk having a second plan rejected by the Supreme Court."
Turzai, who was in an unusually chatty mood, did confirm that the majority-minority district originally proposed for Allentown's growing Latino population will still be included in the updated version.
"It would move a seat from Pittsburgh to Allentown," Turzai said, though he later edited his remarks to say that while seats will still be shifted in a way that reflects the western population losses, that the seats to be relocated are still being negotiated.
Under the commission-approved map, it was former Democratic Rep. Chelsa Wagner's South Hills seat that was to be relocated to Allentown. A special election has since been called for that seat, which will select a legislator to fill out the rest of this year's term.
A new Allegheny County lawmaker also will serve out the 2013-14 session in that seat, before the district moves east under the still-pending maps.