From the Brennan Center: For the People Act of 2021 would reform redistricting

Among the many provisions of the federal For the People Act of 2021 are reforms in the congressional redistricting process, including uniform rules for drawing districts, a ban on partisan gerrymandering, stronger protections for minority communities, and a requirement that states use independent commissions to draw maps, according to a comprehensive summary of the legislation from the Brennan Center for Justice. The legislation originated in the U.S. House of Representatives as H.R. 1 and passed the House on March 3, 2021 by a vote of 220-210.  All seven Republican members of the Indiana House delegation voted against it; both Democrats…

Our redistricting roundup: Latino group sues over early redistricting in Illinois

From the Associated Press: Illinois Democrats used inadequate data and an opaque process to draw new legislative districts, a Latino civil rights organization argued in the latest lawsuit seeking to block the maps from being used for statehouse elections over the next decade. Top Illinois Republicans also challenged the maps this week in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Chicago after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the new boundaries into law despite a campaign pledge not to approve politician-drawn districts. From the Associated Press: Democrat-drawn legislative district maps to govern elections in the Illinois General Assembly for the next decade won legislative approval, and…

Indiana faith leaders discuss the importance of redistricting

The Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting met Monday to talk with Indiana faith leaders about ways to connect the faith community with the issue. Common Cause Indiana co-sponsored the virtual webinar along with several other groups from the All IN for Democracy Coalition. Bryce Gustafason (above) with Citizens Action Coalition started the webinar by introducing Beth Henricks, associate pastor at Indianapolis First Friends Meeting, and speaking about what redistricting means. “No matter what faith we Hoosiers belong to, our voice and our votes should matter equally here in Indiana,” Gustafason said. “Everyone counts.” Several faith leaders and activists shared how…

From Howey Politics Indiana: Indiana Republican Chairman Hupfer on redistricting

The following is an excerpt of a Howey Politics Indiana interview with Indiana State Republican Chairman Kyle Hupfer. The excerpt focuses on Hupfer's remarks concerning the upcoming redistricting process in Indiana, which the Indiana General Assembly is expected to conclude in the fall. The interview was first published by, and is reprinted with permission of, Howey Politics Indiana: HPI: When do you think redistricting will be finished? Hupfer: I’m hopeful it is in the Thanksgiving time frame or earlier. Some of these dates are still moving targets. As soon as we have the data available, the legislature will take it…

Do: Encourage competitiveness. Don’t: Divide communities. Citizens panel releases redistricting recommendations

Indiana's new congressional and legislative districts could improve on its current ones in two significant ways -- by sacrificing compactness for competitiveness and by uniting rather than dividing cities, counties and other communities of interest, a citizens group urged state legislative leaders on Wednesday. The eight-page report from the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission, released in a morning news briefing, is based on testimony gathered during 10 virtual public hearings that drew nearly 900 participants earlier this year, and sets forth their suggestions on the criteria that the Indiana General Assembly should use in the decennial redistricting process planned for the…

From Howey Politics Indiana: Indiana’s ‘Super Majority Era’ altering power balance

The following column by Brian Howey was first published by, and is reprinted with permission of, Howey Politics Indiana: We are now in the “Super Majority Era” of Indiana governance. While there have been 20 Democratic House and Senate super majorities, and 49 for Republicans over the past two centuries, never have these decks been stacked like they are today with both chambers so Republican that they can do business without a single Democrat present. According to former speakers Brian Bosma and John Gregg, current Speaker Todd Huston and Senate President Pro Tempore Rod Bray are working with caucuses that…

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