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2019 Redistricting & Good Government Bill Watch List

 

Chilling Free Speech: 

SB471: Offenses involving critical infrastructure

Authors: Sen. Eric Koch (R), Sen. Michael Crider (R)

Sponsors: Rep. Ed Soliday (R), Rep. Randall Frye (R), Rep. Jim Pressel (R)

Status: Signed into law by the Governor

Position: CAC opposes this bill

Votes:

Description: SB471 threatens the Constitutional Rights of all Hoosiers, including Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Assembly, and Freedom of Association. It will impose high criminal punishment for offenses involving “critical infrastructure facilities,” which it defines as places such as power plants, pipelines, refineries, and dams, among many others. This legislation elevates the misdemeanor of trespass to a FELONY offense, punishable with up to 2½ years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If property damage occurs, the offense is punishable by up to six years and a $10,000 fine.  The bill goes even further to make entire groups of people collectively liable for the actions of one individual. Any organization that simply verbalizes support for an individual, an organization, or an action, can be found guilty of an offense under this legislation, and could be fined up to $100,000. SB471 is riddled with ambiguity and will have an enormous chilling effect on the Constitutional Rights of Hoosiers.

 

 

Redistricting Legislation: 

Our prefered vehicles for Redistricting Reform in this legislative session are companion bills Senate Bill 91 and House bill 1011. Senate Bill 105 is a good bill, but it is missing a crucial element: it only focuses on redistricting standards, not on how the redistricting commission is formed. Who is drawing the district maps is just as important as the standards by which the maps are drawn.

 

SB91: Redistricting commission (companion to HB1011)

Authors: Sen. John Ruckelshaus (R)Sen. Mike Bohacek (R)Sen. Jon Ford (R), Sen. Mark Stoops (D), Sen. Timothy Lanane (D)

Status: Died in the Senate Elections Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description: SB91 & HB1011 are the bills that have all the elements that we want to see from redistricting reform in Indiana. They establish a redistricting commission to create, hold hearings on, take public comment about, and recommend plans to redraw general assembly districts and congressional districts. 

SB91 & HB1011 allow 4 commission members to be appointed by the legislative leadership. The remaining 5 positions are to be filled by independent citizens who have submitted an application to serve on the commission via a public selection process.

SB91 & HB1011 establish map-drawing criteria that includes equal population, respect for the Voting Rights Act, compactness, contiguity, and political competition. They also gives special consideration to identifying communities of interest and take care to ensure that district lines do not divide communities or inhibit their ability to make their voices heard. They create a redistricting process that is open and transparent, with opportunities for citizens to impact the map-drawing throughout.

 

 

HB1011: Redistricting commission  (companion to SB91)

Authors: Rep. Jerry Torr (R), Rep. Edward Clere (R), Rep. Sue Errington (D)

Status: Died in the House Elections and Apportionment Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description: SB91 & HB1011 are the bills that have all the elements that we want to see from redistricting reform in Indiana. They establish a redistricting commission to create, hold hearings on, take public comment about, and recommend plans to redraw general assembly districts and congressional districts. 

SB91 & HB1011 allow 4 commission members to be appointed by the legislative leadership. The remaining 5 positions are to be filled by independent citizens who have submitted an application to serve on the commission via a public selection process.

SB91 & HB1011 establish map-drawing criteria that includes equal population, respect for the Voting Rights Act, compactness, contiguity, and political competition. They also gives special consideration to identifying communities of interest and take care to ensure that district lines do not divide communities or inhibit their ability to make their voices heard. They create a redistricting process that is open and transparent, with opportunities for citizens to impact the map-drawing throughout.

 

SB105: Redistricting standards 

Authors: Sen. Greg Walker (R), Sen. Randall Head (R), Sen. Mike Bohacek (R), Sen. John Ruckelshaus (R), Sen. Lonnie Randoplh (D), Sen. Susan Glick (R)

Sponsor: Rep. Tim Wesco (R)

Status: Died in the House Elections and Apportionment Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Votes:

Description: SB105 is a good bill, but it only deals with one element of redistricting reform, which is the criteria used to draw the district maps. It does not address who is drawing the maps, but rather leaves the state legislators in charge of drawing their own districts. Furthermore, the criteria in the bill does not include language regarding incumbent candidates or party affiliation.

We want impartial district maps that do not favor any one candidate or political party. If the people drawing the district maps are the same people benefiting from how those maps are drawn, we will end up with more of the same: rigged districts that sway the outcome of the election toward the party in power.

At the very minimum, we would like to see language added to SB105 stating that no district shall be drawn that favors any one candidate or political party.

 

 

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Watching:

SB37: Redistricting commission

HB1317: Redistricting commission

 

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Updated on 4/30/19 

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