PENDLETON — The president pro tem of the Indiana Senate said any legislation to create a redistricting commission will not pass the Legislature.

Sen. Rod Bray, R-Martinsville, said Friday the legislation, recommended by a study committee, is going “nowhere.”

Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, who has introduced legislation for several years to create a citizens redistricting commission, said if Bray indicated the bill is going nowhere it will not be considered by lawmakers.

“I disagree with his reasoning,” Lanane said. “It’s a shame.”

Lanane said in 2010 he introduced legislation to create a redistricting commission and was told by Republicans “let’s look at it in the next 10 years.”

New maps for the state’s congressional and legislative districts will be redrawn in 2021 following the census.

“They’re (Republicans) scared they might see more competitive maps,” Lanane said. “As long as one party dominates they (lawmakers) won’t relinquish drawing the maps.”

Bray said the Indiana Constitution says the legislature redraws the lines.

“So we’re mandated to do it anyway,” he said. “If you give it to a commission they are going to do their work and lawmakers get the final determination.

“At the end of the day, we’re the ones that are held accountable,” Bray said. “Whether the maps are well drawn or poorly drawn, we are accountable.”

Lanane agreed that lawmakers have the final say on the final district maps.

“A number of other states have created redistricting commissions and it does cut down on the politics of the process,” he said. “It is a more transparent process. There is pressure on legislators not to reject the maps.”

Bray said 10 years ago Indiana was complimented for drawing reasonable districts.

“People will argue that’s not the case because of the strong (Republican) majorities in the House and Senate,” Bray said. “If you look statewide at the number of county commissioners and county sheriffs they are about 80% Republican. Which is where Indiana is right now.”

Bray said you really can’t take politics out of drawing those lines through a commission. He said there has to be an odd number of commissioners so there won’t be a deadlock.

“Are you telling me those people don’t have any politics in them?” he asked. “I think they will have, that’s how it works. We all have politics in us.”
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