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Bipartisan Bill Aims to Study Redistricting Reform

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Courtesy
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Indiana Business Research Services

Changes to Indiana’s redistricting system likely won’t take place until at least 2017 under a new proposal from House legislative leaders that would create a redistricting study committee.

The committee would be charged with studying redistricting for the next two years, with a report due in December 2016.  Under the bill, the committee would consider several issues, including state and federal redistricting laws, the cost of a reform effort, and redistricting systems in other states. 

House Speaker Brian Bosma, who co-authored the bill with Minority Leader Scott Pelath, says he’d rather have studied the issue a year or two ago, something House leaders proposed but that didn’t get past the Senate. 

Bosma says that, halfway through the decade, timing is getting tighter; he notes there are constitutional issues involved with redistricting reform – the Indiana Constitution requires the legislature to approve redistricting every ten years.

“It probably requires at least some flexibility in our constitutional provision today,” Bosma said. “There’s discussion about a resolution filed to get that process going.”

Bosma says the resolution to amend the constitution wouldn’t be too specific.  He says it would simply give lawmakers enough leeway to enact reform, such as allowing for the creation of a redistricting commission.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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