Illinois will lose one of its Congressional seats because its population hasn’t grown as fast as southern and western states. In the wake of that news, the redistricting battle begins.
As early as next February, the census bureau will provide detailed population data for Illinois. Then the redistricting process can begin as legislators redraw political boundaries to reflect local population shifts. It’s a process that has drawn a lot of criticism in the past for being overly protective of incumbents.
Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul chairs the Senate Redistricting Committee. He says he expects the coming redistricting negotiations to be contentious even though Democrats control both chambers of the legislature.
"Partisanship is not the only factor that comes in," Raoul said in an interview. "Within party there can be dispute as well."
Efforts to overhaul the redistricting process and provide more transparency failed earlier this year. The Illinois House is set to vote next month on a measure that would require four public hearings on redrawing boundaries. The state Senate has already passed that measure.