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SB326 Killed in House But the Struggle Will Continue

The redistricting standards bill that passed the Indiana State Senate in late January, SB326, died when it failed to get a hearing in the House Elections Committee.  Committee Chairman Milo Smith claimed that Indiana must wait to move on this modest reform effort until the U.S. Supreme Court hands down its decision in the Wisconsin partisan gerrymandering and his statement was backed up by the Speaker of the House.  Both legislators are simply making excuses -- if anything all the recent legal activity surrounding partisan gerrymandering should spur Indiana to act -- because the states that aren't getting sued are the ones with citizens' redistricting commissions. 
 
While it is disappointing that SB326 did not make it through the process this year we should take some satisfaction from passing a redistricting reform bill through the Indiana Senate - that is no small accomplishment and something some folks believed would never happen. 
 
And, we also were successful in getting Senate Concurrent Resolution 30 signed.  SCR 30 calls for a summer study to examine redistricting issues, including implications from the U.S. Supreme Court case.  The study committee will be a useful tool to organize around and help us continue to keep pressure on state lawmakers.  
 
To be successful in 2019 we need to make redistricting reform one of the top issues in state legislative campaigns this fall.  We'll be working on a candidate survey and we'll need everyone's help in getting candidates to respond.  So stay tuned, our coalition will be meeting soon after the session adjourns to regroup and formulate a plan for moving forward. 
 
You can help by writing a letter to the editor about the demise of SB326 and challenging lawmakers to take a stand against partisan gerrymandering. 
 
Thanks for everything you are doing to move redistricting reform forward.  We've come a long way and have farther to go so remember to pace yourself.  This is a marathon and not a sprint.
 
ALL IN FOR DEMOCRACY (The Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting)  March 2018
 

Deb Schade, President
P. O. Box 4456   Evansville, IN 47724


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