Haas calls for Illinois’ redistricting process to be made ‘fair and transparent’ (Kankakee, IL) – Republican lawmakers in the Illinois General Assembly introduced legislation they say will reform the redistricting process and stop those who benefit directly from it from being the ones in charge of the method.
The People’s Independent Maps Act, Senate Bill 1325, would remove politicians from the redistricting process in favor of an independent commission.
“The map-making process in Illinois must be fair and transparent,” Rep. Jackie Haas (R-Kankakee) said in an April 5 Facebook post. “Polls have shown that more than 75% of Illinois voters support an independent process that puts citizens in control of drawing election districts instead of politicians.”
The legislation would direct the state Supreme Court to appoint 16 members to a maps commission required to reflect Illinois’ ethnic, gender and racial demographics. It would also require even splits of party affiliation along with independents.
“We have a once-in-a-decade opportunity to redraw the legislative and congressional districts here in Illinois,” Hass said. “Historically, this has been an extremely partisan process — and it’s even more complicated this time around because federal census data has been delayed.”
Haas called for Illinois voters to participate in the process and have their voices heard in support of the legislation.
Under the proposed policy, each of the state’s leading parties during the previous election for governor would have seven members, with the remaining two commissioners appointed from among independents.
As part of removing the commission as far as possible from politicians’ hands, the members would also be required not to have recently served in any elected or appointed state, federal or local government position, with the same being applied to any immediate family members. Lobbyists are also banned from being a commissioner.