Redistricting Standards Bill Unlikely To Advance

Feb 21, 2018

Legislation to create redistricting standards in Indiana law looks unlikely to pass this session.

House Elections Committee Chair Milo Smith said Wednesday he won’t give the bill a hearing.

The bill creates parameters lawmakers would have to follow when drawing Indiana’s district lines. For instance, the measure says map makers should ignore where incumbent lawmakers live and avoid dividing neighborhoods.

Redistricting reform advocates support the bill. They also want it to create an independent commission to draw the maps. But it appears they’ll get neither.

READ MORE: Redistricting Reform Advocates Hope Court Decision Spurs Change

House Elections Committee Chair Milo Smith (R-Columbus) says he wants to wait for results of a redistricting lawsuit at the U.S. Supreme Court.

“So I didn’t want to do this and then have to change them again after the U.S. Supreme Court made their ruling,” Smith says.

Common Cause Indiana executive director Julia Vaughn, a leading redistricting reform advocate, says Smith is just making an excuse not to act.

“It is a cynical, cynical thing to do,” Vaughn says.

Smith says the legislature should study the issue this summer.