Republicans criticize Democrats over legislative redistricting plans

(The Center Square) – Illinois Republican leaders are again frustrated over plans for redrawing the legislative maps in Illinois, a once-in-a-decade process that could have long-lasting implications for voters and the politicians they elect.

Minority leaders Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, and Ryan Spain, R-Peoria, called out Democrats and their plans for redistricting in Illinois.

Republicans criticized Democrats’ plan to use the American Community Survey rather than waiting for the 2020 Census results. The Census results were delayed by the pandemic. Republicans said the American Community Survey was “far less reliable” than the Census data.

In a statement to Crain’s, House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch said Democrats want to make sure all voices are included.

“Speaker Welch has never suggested that maps will be drawn solely using ACS data,” according to the statement. “It is one of the aggregated data sets the committee is using, just like several other states, including Oklahoma and Colorado. But to suggest that we are not considering all voices throughout Illinois is a lie. House Democrats have held 27 public hearings to listen to people in every part of this state about what their communities look like to them. … This political posturing by Republicans is nothing more than an attempt to disregard constitutional deadlines in a desperate hope that a single Republican appointee, who is accountable to no one, can draw the map. That is not democracy and it’s a disservice to the people of this state.”

Spain said on Wednesday that “working together on re-districting is an absolutely essential change that needs to take place in the state of Illinois.”

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has said he will veto any map he finds to be unfair, but Republican leaders want to see Senate Bill 1325 enacted to help feed information into the constitutional redistricting commission.

The redistricting commission has until June 30 to turn in a final map to Pritzker, who can either approve or veto the map

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