Statehouse Leaders Weigh-in on Redistricting Reform

Dec 29, 2014

Indiana's current congressional districts. Some advocates are pushing for a bipartisan approach when the next maps are redrawn
Credit Courtesy / Wikimedia Commons

Voices calling for Indiana to create an independent redistricting commission are getting louder this session.

Last session, Speaker Brian Bosma coauthored legislation creating a redistricting commission, with members appointed by legislative leaders of both parties.  While that bill passed the House, it never received a hearing in the Senate. 

Bosma says he will offer the bill again, but notes both chambers need to buy-in this time.

“We’ll check out the likelihood of passage in the Senate before we spend a lot of time on it in the House,” Bosma said. “But as you know we passed it last year or the year before and it’s worthy of discussion – and I still think it’s the right direction for the state to go.”

Senate President Pro Tem David Long says he’s open to hearing the issue but notes states that have redistricting commissions still get sued over the maps they create.

“We’ve been told by many people who watch these things carefully that Indiana drew some of the best maps in the United States and we’re proud of that,” Long said. “But that being said, it’s an issue that I think other states have looked at, Indiana can look at it too; there’s no harm in that.”

A recently-formed Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting, created by the League of Women Voters and Common Cause Indiana, says the state needs to begin the process now if a commission has a realistic chance of forming before the next time Indiana redraws its maps in 2021.