A redistricting plan proposed by state Sen. Michael O'Pake (D-11th Dist.) will be considered by the entire legislative body.On May 7, the Senate 's Committee on State Government unanimously approved a legislative package, part of which O'Pake says would depoliticize the congressional redistricting process.

Approval in the current legislative session would provide an important tool for the next redistricting following the 2010 census, the legislator said.

Congressional lines would be redrawn by a bi-partisan Legislative Reapportionment Commission.

"We already have the tools," said O'Pake, the Democratic Whip. "We just need to put them to work."

After the 2000 census, O'Pake said, Berks County was unnecessarily carved up among four congressional districts along "destructive partisan" lines.

"The process of opening up government demands that we end the practices that put political advantage ahead of the public interest," he said.

O'Pake's other proposals include a bill to reduce the size of the General Assembly and end lame-duck legislative sessions.

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