Former Indiana senator and environmental leader Beverly Gard has been appointed to the state’s redistricting study committee, completing the selection process by the legislative leaders.
Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, tapped Gard as his choice to serve on the special committee. She will join former Indiana Supreme Court Justice Ted Boehm, selected by Indiana Speaker of the House of Representatives Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis; former executive director of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union Shelia Kennedy, appointed by House Democratic leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City; and Tom Sugar, former aid to Gov. Evan Bayh, named by Senate Democratic leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson.
“Beverly Gard is a seasoned veteran of the legislative process who has served our state in many capacities throughout her long and distinguished career,” Long said. “Her reputation as a fair-minded, highly-intelligent leader has been well earned and I have every confidence that she will prove to be an outstanding addition to the Redistricting Study Committee.”
A former biochemist, Gard served in the state senate as a Republican from Greenfield from 1988 through 2012. She was described as a leader on environmental issues in the Statehouse, chairing the Committee on Energy and Environmental Affairs. She also represented Indiana on multiple policy development committees of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
“It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to serve our state in this capacity,” Gard said. “Redistricting is an issue that has a direct impact on all Hoosiers and I am committed to taking an honest and thorough approach to the important duties we have been assigned.”
The Redistricting Study Committee was established by House Enrolled Act 1003, passed during the 2015 session of the General Assembly. Introduced by Bosma, Pelath joined as a co-author and Long as well as Lanane signed on as sponsors.
The committee will begin its work by studying the various methods used around the country to draw congressional and state legislative district boundaries. Then it will outline the potential advantages and disadvantages of the alternative approaches to Indiana’s current redistricting process.
By law, the committee must submit its final report to the Legislature by Dec. 1, 2016.
“(Gard) has assured me that she comes into this process with no biases toward a final result for the committee’s recommendation to the General Assembly regarding how Indiana should draw its future Congressional and State Legislative districts,” Long said. “I am grateful for Bev Gard’s willingness to be a part of this important endeavor and I look forward to the launch of the committee’s work.”
Rep. Jerry Torr, R-Carmel, and Sen. Brandt Hershman, R-Buck Creek, are the chair and vice chair of the committee respectively. No meetings have been scheduled.