Dem Redistricting Plan Fails, Citizens Initiative Falls Short

April 29, 2010

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A plan to overhaul how boundaries for Illinois legislative districts are drawn has failed in the House. It's now likely that no constitutional amendment on the issue will be on the November ballot. 

Democrats insisted the proposal would boost minority representation, and bring transparency to the redistricting process. But Republicans like Bill Black criticized how the plan allows lawmakers first crack at drawing the map, as they do now.

BLACK: What this bill does today is to empower state legislators to pick and choose their own voters; not a bad deal.

Democrat Lou Lang noted a Republican alternative had stalled, and said his party's proposal was the only option left.

LANG: You can choose to support this change, thinking it's better than the status quo, or you can choose to support the status quo.

Governor Pat Quinn today seemed to echo Republican complaints, saying he wasn't sure his party's plan was "reform." Still, all but one House Democrat voted yes. No Republicans did, leaving the amendment a couple votes short of the required three-fifths majority.

A redistricting proposal spear-headed by the League of Women Voters has also failed. The League needed to collect about 280,000 valid signatures from registered voters to get their amendment on the ballot. But the organization today announced it has fallen well short of that number.