WITH PODCAST: Pritzker signs redistricting plans for state legislative, appellate court districts

WITH PODCAST: Pritzker signs redistricting plans for state legislative, appellate court districts

By PETER HANCOCK
Capitol News Illinois
phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker signed a pair of bills Friday that redraw state legislative and appellate court districts, despite the fact that official U.S Census data needed to ensure equal representation has not yet been delivered.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, Pritzker said he signed the measures after reviewing the maps to make sure they complied with state and federal law by ensuring minority representation.

“Illinois’ strength is in our diversity, and these maps help to ensure that communities that have been left out and left behind have fair representation in our government,” Pritzker said in the statement. “These district boundaries align with both the federal and state Voting Rights Acts, which help to ensure our diverse communities have electoral power and fair representation.”

Reaction to Pritzker’s announcement was swift. House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch called the signing “a win for the people of this great state.”

“With Governor Pritzker’s signature, people of Illinois can be confident in a legislative map that is reflective of the diversity that we see in every corner of our state,” Welch said. “Not only does this map adhere to state and federal laws, but it is a product of more than 50 public hearings where citizens came to tell us what their communities look like to them.”

But Republican Sen. Jason Barickman, of Bloomington, the minority spokesman on the Senate Redistricting Committee, accused Pritzker of going back on his campaign pledge to support an independent mapmaking process.

“The people of Illinois deserve a fair, transparent process that allows them to choose their representatives in government,” Barickman said. “Pritzker turned his back on them and chose instead to use his signature to further enshrine the broken status quo of politicians picking their voters.” 

The redistricting process is highly political, even in a normal year, because it gives the majority party the ability to draw district maps that will favor them for the next decade.

But it was especially heated in the General Assembly this year, not just because the release of detailed census data has been delayed, but because, as a candidate running in 2018, Pritzker supported creating an independent redistricting commission – the so-called “Fair Maps” proposal – and had vowed to veto any maps drawn by lawmakers or their staffs.

“No one twisted his arm to say what he said,” Republican Congressman Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, said during a news conference Thursday in Springfield. “No one told him, ‘You have to make this pledge.’ No one told Gov. Pritzker when he was campaigning, that he needed to campaign and be in favor of a fair map process.”

During a separate interview Thursday afternoon, however, Pritzker said the opportunity to create an independent commission had passed and that Republicans were trying to delay the process for their own political advantage.

“They (the General Assembly) took off the table a constitutional amendment for an independent redistricting commission. That never happened in the legislature,” Pritzker said in a phone interview with Capitol News Illinois. “So then you’re left with, the two sides really need to work together, whether that was in a construct of an independent commission or just working in a bipartisan fashion. The Republicans seemed not to be interested in doing that.”

“What they really wanted was a map that favors them,” Pritzker continued. “You know, they don’t like to say that, but that’s what they were after.”

More of Pritzker’s interview with Capitol News Illinois can be heard on this week’s edition of Capitol Cast:

Under the Illinois Constitution, lawmakers have until June 30 to approve a redistricting plan. After that, the process goes to an eight-member bipartisan commission. If that commission fails to approve maps by Aug. 10, a ninth member is added, who could come from either party, by drawing a name out of a hat, and that commission is given until Oct. 5 to come up with new maps.

Because the 2020 census data will not be available until after the June 30 deadline for lawmakers to approve maps, Democratic leaders in the General Assembly moved forward using population estimates from the previous five years of data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Republicans, along with several voting rights advocacy groups that included CHANGE Illinois, the League of Women Voters, Common Cause Illinois and others, had cautioned against that method, arguing that ACS data is subject to a margin of sampling error and that it tends to undercount certain subsets of the population.

“As was evident from the final redistricting hearings and statements issued in response to the Illinois General Assembly’s map proposals, diverse communities across the state – representing Black, Latinx, Asian-American, Muslim, Jewish, elderly, young, urban, and rural – rejected these maps,” Madeline Doubek, executive director of CHANGE Illinois, said in a statement Friday. “These maps do not give us equitable representation for the next 10 years. These maps signed by Governor Pritzker simply do not reflect the community input so many Illinoisans tried repeatedly to give to their elected officials.”

During a virtual news conference Friday, Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie, of Hawthorn Woods, said the GOP would “use every tool at our disposal to return power to the people once again,” but he stopped short of saying Republicans would back a legal challenge to the maps.

“We’re going to examine all the options. We’ll look at that this weekend and see how we can best return power to the people,” McConchie said.

Pritzker, meanwhile, has said he anticipates a legal challenge. But he also said lawmakers could return in the fall to make adjustments to the maps once the official census data arrives.

“I do expect the Legislature would revisit the maps if the census data that comes out is significantly different or out of the bounds of the ACS data,” he said. “The census data is going to come out in August, so we’ll know more then. So I think it was prudent. I know the Republicans are already planning to sue. That’s their goal. Their goal is just to throw a wrench into the process hoping to get their own map.”

The legislative redistricting bill is Senate Amendment 1 to House Bill 2777. The judicial redistricting bill is House Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 642.

In addition to those measures, Pritzker also signed House Amendment 1 to SB 2661, which redraws districts for the Cook County Board of Review, a body that hears property tax appeals in Cook County.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Leave a Comment





Local News

dvn 6-13-24 township repair cafe for 6-15

Repair Cafe this Saturday at Township of Lyons HQ

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Repair cafes have become quite the thing for the Township of Lyons. So much so that another repair cafe will be offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, June 15, at the township office, 6404 Joliet Road in Countryside. A repair café held in May was a smashing…

Father’s Day will be especially hard for Jonathan and Kayla, children of the late Arturo Cantu, one of his sisters said. (Supplied photo)

‘They didn’t have to kill my brother’ – sister of slain Bridgeview man

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Arturo Cantu should be celebrating two big events this weekend. He would have celebrated his 40th birthday on June 14. And, a sister said, he would have enjoyed Father’s Day on Sunday, spending time with family and his two young children. Instead, 10 family members and friends gathered in a…

Sisto Brito

‘You just learn to live with the pain’

Spread the love

Spread the loveStatus hearing in July for McCook murder By Steve Metsch The attorney representing a Chicago man charged with murdering a Blue Island man in McCook in February told a judge Wednesday there’s been “a significant and outstanding discovery in this matter.” Attorney Damon Cheronis made his comment before Cook County Circuit Court Judge…

lagrange police logo

Man shot in La Grange; suspect arrested in Stickney

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch A man was shot Tuesday afternoon in La Grange, according to a news release received Wednesday from the police department. A suspect has been apprehended, the release said. The shooting victim remains in stable condition at a local hospital, the release said. La Grange Police, working with the Major Case…

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound June 12, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the love

Softball stock

Softball | Marist will play for state title for fourth straight season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Randy Whalen Correspondent Marist returned to the state title game for the fourth straight season with a 7-1 victory over Mundelein in the semifinals, held June 7 at Louisville Slugger Sports Complex in Peoria. The Mustangs (36-2) were making their first appearance at state since 1996. “We have a core group of returners,”…

Terrence Hickey is retiring at the end of June after working 18 years as a building inspector for the village of McCook. (Photo by Steve Metsch) 

McCook building inspector retires after 18 years

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch After 18 years of inspecting buildings, be it a modest bi-level house or a sprawling multi-million-dollar warehouse, Terrence Hickey is retiring from the village of McCook. His retirement takes effect June 28, Mayor Terrance Carr said during the June 3 meeting of the village board. “I’m jealous,” Carr said. “(He’s…

Members of Summit Girl Scout Troop 56615. (Supplied photo)

New Summit Girl Scout troop off and running

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Carol McGowan There’s a new Girl Scout Troop in Summit, and they have been busy. Troop 56615 is made up of girls from Summit School District 104 from first-grade to third-grade, and between 7-9 years old, making them Brownies in the scouting world. They have 10 girls so far, and Troop Leader…

Chicago Red Stars player Penelope Hocking signs autographs before the team's match against Bay FC on June 8 at Wrigley Field. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Record crowd sees Bay FC top Red Stars at Wrigley Field

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Historic Wrigley Field hosted its first professional women’s sporting event in 80 years when the Chicago Red Stars hosted Bay FC on June 8. An NWSL-record announced crowd of 35,038  came out on a cool, rainy evening on the North Side and saw the expansion team from the San…

Marist seniors Caroline O’Brien (left) and Camryn Lyons hold the Class 4A state runner-up trophy after St. Charles North defeated the RedHawks, 7-2, in the championship game on June 8 in Peoria. Photo courtesy of Marist High School Athletics

Softball | St. Charles North rides big inning over Marist for Class 4A state title

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Randy Whalen Correspondent The final game was in doubt until the late innings but, in the end, Marist came up short in its bid for a second consecutive state championship. St. Charles North (25-6) broke open a tied game by scoring five times with two outs in the bottom of the sixth,…

Neighbors

Hadi Isbaih

Palos Heights tax preparer convicted of Covid-relief fraud

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports A Palos Heights tax preparer who operates a business in Bridgeview has been convicted on federal charges for fraudulently assisting customers in obtaining loans under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The jury in U.S. District Court in Chicago on June 10 convicted Hadi Isbaih, 42, on all…

An artist's renderings of what the renovated Fine Arts Center will look like at Shepard High School, 13049 S. Ridgeland Ave., Palos Heights. (Supplied photos)

Renovations begin on Shepard High School theater

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White Shepard High School, which prides itself in the fine arts, will soon have a beautifully reconstructed theater right on its Palos Heights campus. The Community High School District 218 Board of Education recently unanimously approved funding for the renovation of the Fine Arts Center at the high school at 13049…

Ribhi “Spiderman” Gaber wishes everyone at Glen Oak School a great summer. (Photos by Nuha Abdessalam)

Young Spiderman fan wishes students a great summer

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Nuha Abdessalam Spiderman-kid bids farewell and wishes a beautiful summer break to students of Glen Oak Elementary in Hickory Hills. Since the summer of 2023, when he discovered the movie “Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse,” a story about multiple Spidermen from different dimensions, 6-year-old Ribhi Gaber has been more than just a fan…

reporter worth welcome sign

Worth finalizes rules for open burning in village

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle After several discussions over the past month, the Village of Worth has new guidelines for open burning by businesses and in residential areas. Mayor Mary Werner mentioned during the Worth Village Board meeting Tuesday night that a discrepancy in an ordinance regarding open burning had a 10 p.m. deadline. However,…

Residents were invited out to join Orland Township Supervisor Paul O'Grady for an event called, Minds Matter 2024, on May 16 at Orland Township, 14807 S. Ravinia Avenue in Orland Park. (Supplied photos)

Orland Township event focuses on mental health

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White Orland Township is taking the time to focus on mental health. Residents were invited out to join Orland Township Supervisor Paul O’Grady for an event called, Minds Matter 2024, on May 16 at Orland Township, located at 14807 S. Ravinia Avenue in Orland Park. “This was an excellent opportunity to…

bridgeview police logo

Bridgeview shooting not related to Summer Smash

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Bridgeview Police Chief Ricardo Mancha on Monday wanted to emphasize that a shooting in the village Saturday night had nothing to do with the Summer Smash music festival that took place over the weekend at SeatGeek Stadium. “It was an isolated incident,” he said. “Completely unrelated to the Summer Smash…

lyons township logo

Summer jobs available for youths through Lyons Township

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch The summer jobs program offered each year by the Township of Lyons is up and running. The program for high school and college students “is designed to give young individuals an opportunity for summer employment,” Trustee Donna McDonald said at the township board’s June 11 meeting. The jobs program started…

Countryside Mayor Sean McDermott holds his first grandson, Henry James Martin. (Photo courtesy of Sean McDermott)

Proud mayor grandpa hands out candy bars at meeting

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch It’s a tradition for new fathers to hand out cigars after the birth of a child. The cigar’s wrappers are blue for a boy and pink for a girl. If they’re non-smokers, new dads have been known to hand out bubblegum shaped like cigars. Sometimes, proud grandfathers get into the…

summit police logo

Pair busted for Summit phone store robberies

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Two Chicago men have been charged with robbing two phone stores in Summit earlier this year. Jacari Franklin and Austin White are charged with robbing the T-Mobile store at 5640 S. Harlem Ave. on March 28 and the AT&T store at Archer and Harlem avenues on April 18, police said.…

Bruce Quintos (right) visits with Lyons Village Trustee Dan Hilker in front of Quintos’ 1957 Chevy Bel Air that he lovingly restored. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Car enthusiasts crowd annual Father’s Day show in Lyons.

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Held under sunny and warm skies Sunday, the annual Father’s Day Car Show in Lyons was deemed a smashing success by participants and visitors. Not only were car lovers able to admire the four-wheeled beauties, some owners spent quality time with Dad or a spouse. Don Raschka, 80, of Central…