Illinois lawmakers head toward end spring session | Govt-and-politics

Illinois lawmakers head toward end spring session | Govt-and-politics


Illinois will see its 18-member delegation drop to 17 as a result of the census. Democrats now hold a 13-5 majority and are likely to look to Downstate Republican areas to remove the seat.

Democrats did not wait for detailed census results to draw new maps for the General Assembly or the Illinois Supreme Court, instead using estimated survey data in an effort to maintain control of the redistricting process. Unlike the congressional mapmaking, Democrats had to act before a constitutional June 30 date or a process would have given Republicans a 50-50 chance to draw new legislative boundary lines.

Congressional maps based on survey data would be much more likely to be challenged in federal court for alleged violations of voting rights and one-person, one-vote requirements. Also, the census data is not expected until mid-August, too close to the end-of-August date when prospective congressional candidates can begin circulating petitions to appear on the March primary ballot.

The cocktail legislation, sponsored by state Sen. Sara Feigenholtz, a Chicago Democrat, received strong bipartisan support. Passed by the House last week, it was sent to Pritzker by the Senate on a 57-1 roll call, with Republican state Sen. Jason Plummer of Edwardsville casting the dissenting vote.

“It’s really important that we give our hospitality small businesses, independent businesses, every lever we can to stay alive and survive during this pandemic,” Feigenholtz said.

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