A redistricting reform bill is heading to the Senate floor, but it’s not what good-government advocates have been asking for. For years, advocates have called for an independent committee to draw the Indiana’s legislative and congressional maps, instead of the General Assembly. Senate Bill 236, however, would create criteria lawmakers must consider when they redraw the maps every 10 years. Bill author Sen. Greg Walker, R-Columbus, said his bill was just a “baby step” in the right direction. He said that the criteria used to draw maps was far more important than who was drawing the maps.
“I felt like the question about who draws the maps was taking all of the oxygen out of the room,” Walker said. “… It may not be the ultimate solution, but it is a beginning where we have nothing today.”
Those supporting redistricting reform all supported Walker’s bill during testimony as a “path forward.”
However, time is running out for the Republican-led legislature if they want to change Indiana law in order to use an independent commission. Lawmakers will redraw the maps in 2021 following the census.