(INDIANAPOLIS) — Indiana’s new congressional and legislative districts probably won’t be drawn
until this fall.
The Census Bureau announced last month it doesn’t expect to deliver population data until
September 30. That’s more than six months late, and just three months before the January 5 start
of candidate filing begins for next year’s election. It’s also long after the legislature adjourns for the
year, with the task of drawing new maps still unfinished.
House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) and Senate Presidenet Pro Tem Rod Bray (R-
Martinsville) say they’re exploring different options for bringing legislators back. Bray says the
most obvious option is for Governor Holcomb to call a special session.
Legislators are working on a bill which allows them to call themselves into session, a measure
Holcomb contends is unconstitutional. But that bill is confined to situations where a governor has
declared an emergency, and wouldn’t apply to redistricting.
Huston says legislators have received some estimates already, which allows them to get a head
start on map-drawing in hopes of keeping the eventual special session as short as possible.
Bray says legislators are likely to insert a provision in the budget bill to avoid triggering a state law
which punts congressional maps to a panel of four legislators and one Holcomb appointee if the
legislature adjourns without approving new districts. Republicans’ supermajorities in the House
and Senate mean they’ll control the redistricting process no matter what, but sending the maps to
the commission would shut Democrats out of the process entirely. Bray has said the full
legislature should handle redistricting, and the law doesn’t address state House and Senate
On Thursday, the House rejected on procedural grounds a Democratic attempt to assign both
state and federal redistricting to an independent, nonpartisan commission.
Indiana is expected to have nine U.S. House seats, the same as it has now. The Census Bureau
says it plans to finalize those counts by April 30, four months late.