Indiana’s Republican legislative leadership has offered a few details about possible plans for the decennial redistricting process, according to an Associated Press report on Sunday.
According to the report, Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston suggested public hearings might be held around the state, and the House and Senate election committees would meet to discuss the maps, prior to a reconvened legislative session expected after census data is released in late September.
Huston’s remarks followed the release of Senate Republicans’ proposed state budget bill, which includes provisions for the official end of the current legislative session, ordinarily set at the end of April, to be Nov. 15. That would allow for legislative leaders to reconvene the session after the release of census data.
The bill also contains an amendment to a provision that if the legislature adjourns on or before April 29 without completing the redistricting process, a five-member commission that includes only designated legislators and a legislator appointed by the governor takes over the redistricting process; the amendment changes that date to Nov. 15, providing enough time for the current process to remain in place. Legislative leaders had announced earlier that they would take the legislative steps necessary to avoid turning the process over to the commission.
Democrats in the General Assembly have pushed for legislation to provide for independent or nonpartisan approaches to redrawing congressional and legislative districts, but a Senate bill providing for that was not given a committee hearing and attempts in the House to amend other legislation to assign the redrawing process to the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency have been shut down through parliamentary rulings. — The Indiana Citizen