Indiana Senate panel passes redistricting criteria bill

By Charles Edward (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana Senate panel has advanced a bill what would set criteria for redrawing electoral districts.

But the measure approved on an 8-0 vote Monday fell far short of a comprehensive redistricting overhaul that good government groups have sought for years.

Senate Elections Committee Chairman Greg Walker acknowledged his bill was a “baby step.” But the Columbus Republican said it moves the conversation forward.

The guidelines discourage drawing districts to divide ethnic and minority groups.

It also calls for districts to align with existing local government boundaries when possible. Another provision calls for making districts as compact as possible.

Advocates who want to overhaul the redistricting processes testified in support of the bill.

But many noted that it would still allow lawmakers to draw their own districts.

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