Fmr. Gov. Pat Quinn Reveals His Plan for Legislative Redistricting

From Chicago:  ( Aug 30, 2016)  Former Gov Pat Quinn who launched his career with a referendum in 1980 to cut back the number of legislators in the legislature, which marks the only time Illinois has changed the constitution by putting a reform on the ballot via citizens petition, today offered a new plan to get independent legislative maps approved in Illinois.

Fmr Gov Pat Quinn (D) offers a new plan to get independent legislative maps approved in Illinois.
Fmr Gov Pat Quinn (D) offers a new plan to get independent legislative maps approved in Illinois.

In light of the recent IL Supreme Court’s ruling that the independent maps petition was declared unconstitutional, Gov Quinn today announced he is offering a “Fair Redistricting Amendment” that he believes would pass the constitutional test, as outlined by the IL Supreme Court.

Gov Quinn would eliminate any role of the General Assembly in respect to redistricting.  Instead, on Feb 10 on the year following a census,  his plan would have the Illinois Supreme Court name 11 people to a panel on redistricting, with no more than six from one party.  Then the panel would hold public hearings for six months, following the formation of the panel,  and then file the legislative map on August 10 of that year.  Quinn said the map drawn would be “presumed valid” without needing a vote in the legislature.   Under his plan, seven of the 11 members of the panel would have to approve the redistricting map.

Gov Quinn said he looked at other states, and what they’ve done, but emphasized the approach in Illinois has to be based on what the Illinois Supreme Court said in their recent ruling, when they struck down the legislative redistricting plan pushed by Gov Rauner.

Gov Quinn said what he did is “take out a lot of words” in the previous language used to form a Constitutional Amendment.  Quinn told reporters he thought the language in the version that was struck down to too complex, and that the number of words used in the initiative “tripped them up.”

He said he also thought the previous effort was “asking for trouble” by putting in the initiative, a reference of a role for the Auditor General.  He also said his approach differs as he gives the Supreme Court the power to name those to the commission, that would draw the redistricting map.

This effort will have no impact on the election in 2016, but could move forward after a statewide petition drive, and possibly affect the election of 2020, but more likely 2022, if it were to pass a review by the Supreme Court.

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