Lawmakers get a peek at new districts

May 14, 2011

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Springfield lawmakers spent most of their time this week debating the state budget. But there is another issue weighing on their minds: Redistricting.

One by one, Democratic lawmakers are being pulled into a private map room in Springfield. There, they view on a computer screen the proposed boundaries of their new legislative districts.

It's a worrisome topic. Take state Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago). Trotter represents parts of Chicago's Southeast Side and a few suburbs. Due to population losses, his district going forward is likely to stretch into Will County. Knowing that, Trotter has paid closer attention to complaints from mayors statewide.

The state is threatening to reduce the amount of money it gives local governments. Currently, Trotter only has to be responsive to a few mayors. He knows next year, he may be answering to many more. And they will be watching closely how he votes on the funding issue.

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