January 29, 2018

Senate GOP Rejects Dems' Effort To Create Redistricting Commission

Article origination IPBS-RJC
file photo

file photo

Indiana Senate Republicans rebuffed Democrats’ attempt Monday to create an independent redistricting commission that would draw the state’s legislative district lines.

An amendment offered by Sen. Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) would have established that commission to largely take over the duties currently performed by lawmakers.

Lanane says Hoosier citizens believe the current redistricting process is driven by politics.

“We need to dispel that belief and to restore confidence in the way we draw these legislative maps,” Lanane says.

The underlying bill, authored by Sen. Greg Walker (R-Columbus), establishes criteria by which redistricting maps will be judged. For instance, it says districts should be as compact as possible and try not to divide neighborhoods.

Walker says those measures are where the focus should be.

“We need to talk about the criteria without introducing too many competing ideas at one time,” Walker says. “I believe we can agree on good criteria and continue to move and advance the redistricting process in this state.”

The amendment was defeated along party lines, 40-9.

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