Republicans propose legislation that would create an independent redistricting commission to draw legislative maps

Republicans propose legislation that would create an independent redistricting commission to draw legislative maps

One of the cornerstones of Governor Pritzker’s campaign was a pledge to the people of Illinois to support fair and independent maps that would be created by an independent commission. The People’s Independent Maps Act would do just that.

March 31, 2021

Republicans in the Illinois Senate and House this week introduced the “People’s Independent Maps Act,” legislation that would create an independent redistricting commission to draw the new legislative maps rather than politicians. This legislation would prevent politicians from picking their constituents by eliminating them from the process, all but guaranteeing the people of Illinois would have a real voice in the legislative map making process.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
Under the Republicans’ proposal, the independent commission will draw the map, which will then be presented to that eight-person commission mandated by the state constitution. The new map will ultimately be submitted to the Secretary of State for approval, assuming the bipartisan panel doesn’t deadlock in its decision. The legislation would only apply to the 2021 redistricting cycle.

The commission would be able to use actual Census data, which is expected to be released in August, instead of “incomplete” data from the American Community Survey, the Republicans said Tuesday…

Those commissioners shall “reflect the ethnic, gender, and racial demographics of Illinois” with 14 of them representing, “in equal number, the two political parties whose gubernatorial candidates received the greatest number of votes in the last gubernatorial election and two of the commissioners shall represent neither of those parties,” under the proposed legislation…

The bill copies language from a proposed constitutional amendment introduced in 2019 that garnered bipartisan support in the Senate. A similar measure passed the House in 2016 and was initially co-sponsored by current Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, though records from the General Assembly show he was later removed as a co-sponsor.

In 2018, then candidate J.B. Pritzker, pledged multiple times to support fair and independent legislative maps by creating an independent commission to draw the maps. Pritzker even went as far as a pledge to veto “any state legislative redistricting map that was drafted or created by legislators, political party leaders/or their staffs or allies”.

From Capitol Fax:
We should amend the constitution to create an independent commission to draw legislative maps, but in the meantime, I would urge Democrats and Republicans to agree to an independent commission to handle creating a new legislative map.

From the Dispatch Argus:
I support using an independent commission to draw legislative maps so that races are more competitive, and voters actually have choices to make in their local elections.

From the Northwest Herald:
We should amend the constitution to create an independent commission to draw legislative maps, and I have supported this effort for years. In the meantime, I would urge Democrats and Republicans to agree to an independent commission to handle creating a new legislative map.

One of the cornerstones of Governor Pritzker’s campaign was a pledge to the people of Illinois to support fair and independent maps that would be created by an independent commission. The People’s Independent Maps Act would do just that. Governor Pritzker should fulfill his promise to the people of Illinois and support this legislation and urge all Democrats to join him.

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