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Republican Lawmakers Nix Another Round Of Statewide Hearings On Redistricting

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Brandon Smith / IPB News
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Republican leaders Wednesday threw cold water on calls for another round of public hearings across the state on redistricting once lawmakers unveil proposed legislative maps.

Advocates say the public should have time – at least a week or two – to look at the proposals and weigh in when lawmakers gather next month.

This year’s redistricting process was already heavily delayed because the federal government wasn’t able to send states the necessary data until now. And House Elections Committee Chair Tim Wesco (R-Osceola) said county clerks across Indiana need to know what the new district maps look like as they prepare for next year’s elections.

“To delay this any longer than it’s already been delayed could create some significant ripple effects that create significant problems for the upcoming election,” Wesco said.

READ MORE: Redistricting 101: Who Draws Indiana’s Legislative District Maps, And How

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Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) isn’t buying it.

“You can have at least a couple weeks of more hearings on the actual proposed maps and, I think, get things done in time for the local election officials to do what they need to do,” Pierce said.

There will likely only be one hearing each, at the Statehouse, in the House and Senate once the maps are unveiled next month.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.