Senate Leaders Want Conversation Shift In Redistricting Debate

Jan 5, 2018

Redistricting reform advocates renewed their call this week for Indiana legislators to act. But the Senate Elections Committee chair wants to have a slightly different conversation.

House and Senate lawmakers of both parties have bills this session to establish an independent redistricting commission to draw Indiana’s legislative maps – similar to bills that have been filed for years.

Senate Elections Committee Chair Greg Walker (R-Columbus) says he’s filed a different kind of redistricting bill. His would define what he calls the “criteria” of redistricting – prioritizing, he says, what map makers must consider when drawing district boundaries.

“How do we know when we have a good map and when we have a poor map if we don’t have a criteria by which to judge that?” Walker says.

Criteria in Walker’s bill include population size and keeping counties, cities, and towns intact whenever possible.