INDIANAPOLIS—On Friday, House Bill 1581 was approved out of the Senate with a vote along party lines. Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) released the following statement on the approval of the district maps, which egregiously split communities like Fort Wayne, Evansville and West Lafayette and Lafayette, to maintain the Republican supermajority’s political control.

“It’s extremely disappointing that the supermajority pushed their gerrymandered maps through the Legislature without addressing so much as one concern raised by Hoosiers,” Sen. Taylor said. “Hoosiers asked for fairness, transparency and more time, yet the Republican supermajority met behind closed doors to design and approve their final maps, then pushed them through the Legislature as quickly as possible.

“Hoosiers specifically expressed dissatisfaction with the way Fort Wayne, Evansville, West Lafayette and Lafayette were drawn to split up those communities of interest. The fact that my caucus’ amendment to address those egregiously drawn districts were voted down, speaks volumes about the true intent of the supermajority. Keeping communities of interest together was not a priority for my colleagues across the aisle. If it were, each of my caucus’ amendments would have been accepted.

“Responding to the voices and concerns of Hoosiers was clearly not a priority for my Republican colleagues either. If it were, they would have slowed down this process like Hoosiers asked. They would have held more public meetings after district maps were drawn to actually respond to questions and concerns from Hoosiers. Residents repeatedly asked for an independent redistricting commission to draw district maps so that politicians would not be picking their own voters. The supermajority voted down my caucus’ amendment to do exactly that.

“From start to finish, this redistricting process has been closed-off and opaque. Every claim from my colleagues to want to listen to voters and keep communities of interest together was shown to be disingenuous by their actions. The goal of my Republican colleagues was always to secure as much political power as possible at the expense of Hoosiers and our state’s democracy.”