News from State Senator Brian Stewart

On October 15th, majority Democrats released a new Congressional district map, which clearly shows a gerrymandered effort by politicians to retain power and control.

The Majority party also announced a series of hearings on the new map proposal, claiming the events are part of an open and public process. A recent news story, however, has uncovered the secret process has actually been happening behind closed doors.

The story in Crain’s Chicago Business states, “What’s known for sure is that three-person panels—comprised of aides to House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, Senate President Don Harmon and Gov. J.B. Pritzker—have been meeting separately in recent days with every Democratic member of the state’s congressional delegation to see what they want out of decennial reapportionment.”

The article made it clear that despite Democrats’ claims of an open process, the actual process of drawing maps has been under way behind closed doors, where entrenched politicians have been at work creating gerrymandered maps that enhance their own power.

This week, several Republican lawmakers who serve on the redistricting committees demanded that these secret meetings be brought into the open, by calling on the participants of the behind-closed-doors meetings to testify before the people of Illinois at the public redistricting hearings.

None of those participants have so far come forward to testify. State Sen. Brian Stewart (R-Freeport) expressed his disgust at the revelations regarding
Democrats’ continuation of a sham redistricting process while the actual process moves forward in secret. He is urging Gov. Pritzker, the Senate President and the House Speaker to come clean and order their staff members involved in the meetings to testify at the next redistricting hearing.

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