Two state Senate Republicans are introducing legislation to create a commission of lawmakers and the public to draw legislative district boundaries following the 2020 census. John Ruckelshaus, of Indianapolis, and Mike Bohacek, of Michiana Shores, said Monday that they are responding to strong demand from their constituents to create a redistricting process that is open and fair. Democrats in the Indiana House and Senate have made redistricting reform a top priority in the 2018 legislative session, which begins Jan. 3. Legislation that would have created a nonpartisan commission to draw district lines died in a House committee in March when Rep. Milo Smith, R-Columbus, refused to call for a vote on the measure.
Ruckelshaus said the bill he is introducing is similar to the one that died in the last session. The measure, Senate Bill 159, would create a nine-member redistricting commission composed of four lawmakers – one from each of the caucuses – and five members of the public. Public members would be selected by a committee of public university presidents.
The legislative maps drawn by the commission would then be subject to the approval of the Indiana General Assembly.