Democrat leaders choose politicians over people in drafting legislative maps

SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) says the legislative map released Friday evening clearly shows Democrat leaders have chosen politicians over people, despite an earlier pledge by the Governor to veto any such partisan-drawn map.

“What a disappointment that despite earlier indications of bipartisan input and cooperation, the Governor is backpedaling on an earlier pledge to support a more independently-drawn map,” Tracy said. “And of course, there is nothing deliberate about introducing new legislative boundaries on a Friday evening after the Senate has adjourned for the week.”

Tracy says the map is the first glimpse Republican Senators have had at the new legislative district boundaries, as the months-long redistricting process has taken place behind locked doors.

“Throughout this whole process, 75 percent of Illinoisans have been telling us they want more transparency. They are fed up with closed-door, politically-drawn maps,” Tracy said. “What good is asking people for input when you ignore their suggestions? Lawmakers should be doing all they can to earn the trust of the people. We should give them fair representation through an independent commission that considers their input.”

The process is also flawed in that the map just released does not use census data. Instead, the Majority Party used data from the American Community Survey (ACS), which is proven to be flawed and only accounts for one percent of the population. Tracy noted that redistricting is supposed to be based on demographic changes as revealed by the Census, and should not be using inaccurate polling data.

Senate and House Republicans recently introduced the People’s Independent Maps Act that would create a truly independent commission to draw maps and take political insiders out of the process. Senate Bill 1325 uses identical language from SJRCA 4, a constitutional amendment for an independent redistricting commission introduced by State Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) in 2019. That resolution garnered 37 co-sponsors in the Senate, including 18 Democrats. A similar independent commission amendment co-sponsored by House Speaker Chris Welch (D-Hillside) passed the House in 2016 with 105 “Yes” votes.

Jil Tracy

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