Pritzker Signs Disputed Legislative Map Into Law

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The maps, drawn by Democrats who control the General Assembly, are designed to give Democrats a leg-up in keeping that control into the future. (WTTW News)The maps, drawn by Democrats who control the General Assembly, are designed to give Democrats a leg-up in keeping that control into the future. (WTTW News)

The boundaries of political power in Illinois for the next decade are close to fixed. Gov. J.B. Pritzker Friday signed into law new maps of districts for the state Legislature, Illinois Supreme Court and Cook County Board of Review.

Pritzker’s action defies an earlier pledge that he would reject any map drawn by legislative leaders or their surrogates.

The General Assembly had approved the maps a week prior, over vociferous complaints from Republicans and from leaders of reform and community organizations, who said the maps were drawn using faulty, out-of-date data and that they lacked true input from residents.

“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,” Pritkzer said in a press release. “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.”

A day prior, Pritzker said that he was still evaluating the maps.

The maps, drawn by Democrats who control the General Assembly, are designed to give Democrats a leg-up in keeping that control into the future.

For example, no districts will force sitting House Democrats to face off, while the new map creates seven districts that will pit 14 incumbent Republicans against one other.

Democrats applauded Pritzker’s quick action.

“Today was a win for the people of this great state,” Democratic House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch said in a written statement. “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.”

But Republican Senator Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, called out Pritzker for going back on his word.

“When J.B. Pritzker was a candidate for Governor, he made a lot of promises. He told us he was different, that he was a reformer, and that he would veto any map drawn by lawmakers. Today he broke his promise to voters and joins the all-too-long list of Illinois politicians who promise one thing and then do another,” Barickman said in a statement. “The people of Illinois deserve a fair, transparent process that allows them to choose their representatives in Government. 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.” 

Follow Amanda Vinicky on Twitter: @AmandaVinicky


Region: Chicago,Politics,City: Chicago

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June 4, 2021 at 02:14PM

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