Introduced by Sen. Greg Walker (R-Columbus) is a redistricting bill introduced in the Indiana Senate for 2019.

The summary:

Establishes redistricting standards for congressional and state legislative districts. Provides that the initial proposed plans for congressional and state legislative districts must comply with the redistricting standards. Allows the general assembly, during the process by which the initial proposed plans become effective by being enacted as a law, to consider and adopt modifications to the initial proposed plans that deviate from the redistricting standards as long as the reason or reasons for each deviation are publicly explained and documented.

SB105 would establish new standards for redrawing district lines following the 2020 census. If it becomes law, SB105 would require redistricting processes to consider minority voices, and would limit how legislators can divide neighborhoods, public schools, and other entities that share common interests in an election. Legislators would have to disclose any deviation from the standards in the bill.

The measure would offer tighter guidelines, but would not be a comprehensive reform to how Indiana creates districts, because the General Assembly would still oversee the creation of the district map and have final approval.

Advocates for more thorough reform include Common Cause and Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting. (League of Women Voters Indiana is a co-founding member of Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting.) These reform advocates are pushing for a citizen commission to make sure districts are created fairly and represent all voters.

Indiana Senate Bill 91, authored by Sens. John Ruckelshaus (R-Indianapolis), Mike Bohacek (R-Michiana Shores), and Jon Ford (R-Terre Haute), may have a better chance of giving the public control over redistricting.

Their bill would create a nine-member commission for redistricting, the majority of members being chosen by the general public.

SB 105 passed committee 5-2 and moves to the Senate floor for a vote, while SB 91 has yet to be reviewed.

Source: Legislators almost out of time to end gerrymandering, says Indiana coalition

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