Democrats pass revised legislative maps amid court challenge

Democrats pass revised legislative maps amid court challenge

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Democrats at the Illinois statehouse pushed through revised legislative maps 30 minutes after the final drafts were released while the Republican minority continued to object.

A special session was called by the Illinois Senate President and Illinois House Speaker on Tuesday to revise maps Democrats had previously passed back in May and the governor enacted in June. Those maps were based on estimated Census data. The final Census data meant to be used for redistricting was released just a few weeks ago.

In the House on Tuesday evening, Democratic leaders said maps were partly drawn for partisan advantage. Republican state Rep. Avery Bourne, R-Raymond, blasted the last-minute process as not being fair to the state’s residents.

“What seems to be the priority in this resolution is incumbency protection and incumbency suggestions over the overwhelming input that we got from community groups to slow this down, give them time to analyze it, give them the reasons in this resolution before we have to vote on it,” Bourne said. “Give them more than 30 minutes.”

The Illinois Senate took up the maps along party lines with Democrats contending their maps provide equal representation and are within constitutional constraints.

Republicans are looking to the federal courts to strike the maps down and bring about a bipartisan commission per the Illinois Constitution, since it is after the June 30 deadline for legislators to act. A hearing in that case is set for Wednesday midday in Chicago.

“Today’s vote confirms that the Illinois Democrats have no interest in honest government,” said House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs. “Contrary to their campaign promises, the House Democrats passed a legislative map that lacks any transparency or public input. After lying to taxpayers once, the Governor now has the opportunity to live up to his campaign promises and veto this politician-drawn map.”

Late in the evening, after passage of the maps in the Senate along party lines, Change Illinois said the process was disrespectful.

“Drawing district maps in locked back rooms yet again, Illinois lawmakers underscored their utter disregard for the will of the people and for the bedrock democratic principles of open government by and for the people,” said Change Illinois Executive Director Madeleine Doubek. “Gov. Pritzker said he wanted maps that reflect the state’s rich diversity. These maps fall far short of that request and should be rejected by him. Failing that, we hope the courts will force the correction of lawmakers’ callous political mapping calculations.”

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