Independent Redistricting Effort Fails In 2014 Legislature
March 22, 2014 — Indiana Public Broadcasting —
Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane says the legislature can’t wait much longer to create an independent redistricting commission. That’s despite the redistricting process being more than six years away. As Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith reports, a bill to create the commission died in the Senate this session:
Indiana’s legislative districts are redrawn every ten years, following the census. And it’s lawmakers who are responsible for that process, which many charge creates an inherently unfair, political situation in which the majority party can make it harder for the minority to win seats. Proposed legislation would have created an independent redistricting commission responsible for redrawing the districts. The measure overwhelmingly passed the House but didn’t even get a hearing in the Senate. Speaker Brian Bosma, who coauthored the bill, says it was just one of the many issues that got sidelined:
“We aren’t going to redistrict here until…for a while, so it generally wasn’t a priority to get done this session.”
Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane, whose caucus has long pushed for the commission, says it’s the Senate Republicans who will need a push:
“They’re not going to do that just because I say so as leader of the Senate Democrats. It’s going to take, I think, the Speaker, maybe the governor to come forward and say, ‘Look, this is good for democracy.’”
Lanane says he thinks there needs to be movement on the issue within the next couple of years if the commission is going to be created.