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|Dems Propose Redistricting Change
|Illinois Senate Democrats have introduced a plan to change the state's redistricting process. State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) says his plan does not include using a computer to draw the map, as many have suggested. Instead it opens the map drawing process to more public input while remaining in the hands of legislators, except if there is political deadlock -- which has always happened.
"Any reform to the state's redistricting process must ensure that everyone can participate and guarantee a map is created which benefits all Illinoisans, not just partisanship," Raoul said.
Raoul's proposal would allow lawmakers in the House and the Senate to vote on a proposed map. It would then be passed to the governor. If it fails to pass in both chambers or is vetoed by the governor, the Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court and another justice of the opposite political party would choose an independent, presumably fair, non-partisan person to draw the map. The plan does away with the eight-member bipartisan redistricting committee which ends tie votes with a ninth member being selected at random.
But Republican leaders oppose Raoul's proposed amendment. A written statement from Republican leaders says the proposal violates the "first basic principal of reform." Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) says the Senate Democrat proposal "continues the current practice in Illinois that allows politicians to pick their voters instead of the other way around." House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) says the proposal "falls short." "The Senate Democrats' proposal still allows the politicians to continue to draw their own districts," Cross said. "That hasn't worked well for four decades and it doesn't work now."
Republicans filed a redistricting plan in February which would let an independent commission, chosen by legislative leaders from both parties, draw the map. Under that plan, lobbyists, current and past politicians and a long list of others would not be allowed to serve on the commission.
(Illinois Radio Network)
|04 07 10 by Newsroom
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