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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2010
With accelerated deadlines approaching, Secretary Rokita mobilizes grassroots effort to seek action by the Indiana House
(Indianapolis) – Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita is calling on Hoosiers who support redistricting reform to demand action by the Indiana House on redistricting reform legislation. Secretary Rokita called on supporters of his “Rethinking Redistricting” initiative to demand that Senate Bill 80 be moved to the House floor for a vote.
“Speaker Bauer has moved the deadline for committee hearings, which means that the time for action is now,” said Secretary Rokita. “Hoosier voters and taxpayers cannot wait another 10 years for redistricting reform.”
Indiana House Speaker Pat Bauer has moved up the deadline for committee hearings from March 3 to February 22. The change in deadline means that the House Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedures needs to act on Senate Bill 80 by February 22. The House Committee must act in order to send the bill to the House floor for a vote.
Senate Bill 80 would require the new legislative maps to respect county and township lines, preserve traditional neighborhoods and communities of interest, protect minority voting rights and create simple, compact districts. Senate Bill 80 received bipartisan support in the Indiana Senate, and passed with a vote of 47-1.
When Senate Bill 80 moved to the House, Speaker Bauer referred the bill to the House Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedures where it has yet to be scheduled for a hearing. Previously in this session, Republicans in the House introduced House Bill 1013, which called for redistricting reform. This bill did not move forward, as it was assigned by Speaker Bauer to the House Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedures and never received a hearing.
“Speaker Bauer has called redistricting reform legislation a ‘distraction,’ said Secretary Rokita. “I have asked redistricting reform supporters to contact Speaker Bauer, and tell him that this issue is important, and that the concerns of Hoosier voters and taxpayers are hardly a distraction.”
Secretary Rokita sent an action alert email to “Rethinking Redistricting” supporters this morning, calling on them to contact Speaker Bauer about Senate Bill 80.
Media Contact: Jim Gavin, 317.233.8655, firstname.lastname@example.org