INDIANAPOLIS—Today, Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) offered two amendments to the redistricting bill, House Bill 1581.
His first amendment would have addressed the division of Fort Wayne into four Senate districts, which multiple Hoosiers spoke against in the Senate Election Committee hearing on Monday. Sen. Taylor’s amendment would have placed the city of Fort Wayne into only two Senate districts, better preserving those communities of interest. It was voted down by the Republican supermajority.
“During public testimony, Hoosiers were vocal about their disappointment with the way Fort Wayne was split up in the Republican proposed maps,” Senator Taylor said. “Fort Wayne has the population to be two Senate districts—yet it’s been egregiously broken up into four in the supermajority’s maps. In addition, their map divides a minority community, diluting their votes. My amendment would have fixed that. It directly addresses an issue that Fort Wayne residents requested to be fixed.
“There’s not one Fort Wayne resident who came out in support of these maps with the way the city was split, and it’s shameful that the supermajority would blatantly ignore the wishes of residents in that area. This shows that despite their rhetoric, the supermajority is not interested in preserving communities of interest but in preserving absolute power.
Senator Taylor’s second amendment, which was also blocked by the supermajority, would have established redistricting standards for the 2030 redistricting cycle.
“My caucus has advocated for years for the adoption of fair standards to guide our redistricting process. Every session since the last time we drew district maps, Democrats have offered legislation or amendments to get these important standards put into law, but every year the supermajority has blocked those efforts. Now we’ve kicked the can down the road so long that we’re in another redistricting cycle, and we still don’t have those standards in place.
“That’s why I introduced this amendment to get those standards—which Hoosiers have asked for, by the way—approved into law. Unsurprisingly, the supermajority voted against this amendment, which simply called for common-sense standards to ensure transparency and fairness when drawing district maps. By rejecting my amendment, the supermajority is blocking both the will of voters and making it clear that their mission isn’t to represent the people of Indiana, but to maintain control.”