Illinois Republicans file independent mapping commission bill challenging Democrats to support

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Illinois statehouse Republicans are looking to create an independent map commission to redraw legislative boundaries.

Democrats say they can’t rely on what they say could be flawed data.

Republicans filed an amendment to Senate Bill 1325 to create the People’s Independent Maps Act allowing the Illinois Supreme Court to appoint a commission to draw maps.

“While we absolutely support the concept of an independent commission and a truly nonpartisan process that respects and values input from the diverse people of Illinois, we have reservations about whether this proposal is achievable given that we’re not supposed to receive census data until late September and the state constitution requires maps be adopted by Oct. 5,” said Change Illinois Executive Director Madeleine Doubek.

State Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, said the proposal will allow the commission to pick up delayed census data and use it.

“The state of Illinois spent millions of dollars collecting this data and during that time everyone, the governor and everyone said ‘we have to do this to make sure our census data is right so that you the voter are accurately represented in your government,’” Barickman said.

State Sen. Omar Aquino, D-Chicago, said Republicans are more interested in complaining and he doesn’t trust the numbers coming from the Census under former President Donald Trump.

“We hope the work will be reflected in the Census data,” Aquino said. “The stakes are too high to simply wait on what might be flawed data.”

He says Republicans don’t want to hold public hearings.

“I find that suggestion offensive given the blatant attempts of the Trump administration to undercount minority communities,” Aquino said. “The truth is we don’t know how accurate the Census data will be.”

Hearings in the Senate continue. House committees begin a series of hearings Thursday.

State Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, said there is large bipartisan support for an independent mapping commission drawing the new boundaries instead of partisan legislators. He said Democrats want to push forward without all the census data that’s being delayed, and that’s not fair..

“It’s not fair to the people that completed their census, and it’s not fair to the people of Illinois to use incomplete data,” Butler said.

Details about the legislative efforts led by Democrats to draw maps and ways to provide input can be found at ILSenateRedistricting.com or at ILHouseDems.com/redistricting.

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