Redistricting Reform Likely Dead This Session

Feb 19, 2017


An effort to reform Indiana’s redistricting process is likely dead this session.

Despite overwhelming support from those who attended a House Elections Committee hearing, committee chair Rep. Milo Smith (R-Columbus) wouldn’t take a vote on the redistricting reform bill.

Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says the measure was unlikely to pass and he didn’t want to put pressure on his caucus to approve it in a session when they’re taking other difficult votes.

“And to weigh in heavily on a bill that is not likely to receive attention in the Senate – that’s the clear message we received – you can only pick so many fights,” Bosma says.

Common Cause Indiana’s Julia Vaughn, who’s helped lead the charge for redistricting reform, says it’s not fair to blame the Senate if the bill couldn’t even get a vote in a House committee – something she says would be helpful as her coalition moves forward.

“It would be helpful if we had a vote so we could know who’s with us and who is not with us on that committee so we could focus our energies organizing in their districts,” Vaughn says.

Vaughn adds the bill could have more success next session when lawmakers aren’t also considering a budget and road funding tax increases.