Brought to you by WBIW News and Network Indiana
Last updated on Friday, April 8, 2011
(STATEHOUSE) - Republicans should unveil long-awaited redistricting maps next week.
House Elections Chairman Eric Koch and other committee members held nine hearings last month on what standards to use in drawing the maps.
Speaker Brian Bosma says house Democrats' walkout has delayed the process by about a week.
He says legislators wanted to get each legislator's thoughts on his district before turning to the process of redrawing.
He says the maps have to emerge from committee next week to be completed by the deadline.
If legislators don't make it, Republicans get to draw Indiana's nine Congressional districts by themselves.
State law says Congressional maps must be drawn by May 29th, with a five-member commission doing the job if the legislature adjourns without completing them.
Because Republicans control the governorship and both houses of the legislature, they'd get all five seats.
There's no similar provision for state legislative maps, and the GOP says it expects to get the maps done on time anyway.
Second District Congressman Joe Donnelly may have the most to lose from redistricting.
He won reelection last year by a single percentage point, and Republicans may look for ways to tip the balance against him. In a response to Bosma's request for feedback, Donnelly urged legislators to keep heavily Democratic St. Joseph and Laporte counties in the second district, along with Marshall and Fulton counties.
The current district covers eight counties and parts of three others.
Bosma says Republicans won't deliberately draw incumbents into the same district, but doesn't rule out the possibility.
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