On March 30, Republican legislative leaders in both the Senate and House of Representatives came together to introduce the People’s Independent Maps Act, a proposal to allow Illinois legislative redistricting maps to be determined by an independent commission.
The state’s current system of drawing legislative maps gives current officeholders the power to draw district lines, allowing partisan politics to influence the final map outcome and stifle voters.
Over the years, Senate Republicans have strongly advocated for creating a system that would allow legislators to recuse themselves from the map-drawing process all together. This position is shared among most Illinoisans as well. Polls show that more than 75 percent of Illinois voters support an independent process that puts citizens in control of drawing election districts instead of the politicians.
The People’s Independent Maps Act is Republican lawmakers’ most recent push to put an end to Illinois’ broken redistricting system.
The People’s Independent Maps Act:
- Gives the Supreme Court the power to appoint 16 independent, citizen commissioners to the Independent Redistricting Commission within 30 days of becoming law.
- The makeup of the Commission would be required to reflect the ethnic, gender and racial demographics of the state.
- Party affiliation would be evenly split, in addition to members without party affiliation.
- Legislators, state employees and lobbyists are prohibited from serving on the Commission.
- The Commission would be required to hold at least 10 public hearings throughout the state before adopting a plan, with at least four hearings after a map is proposed.
- The Commission will release a map within 30 days of receipt of the census redistricting data.
- This legislation would only apply to the 2021 redistricting cycle.
Identical legislation has been proposed in previous years, garnering bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House.