Former Gov. Quinn Unveils His Own Redistricting Reform Plan

August 31, 2016
Former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.

Former Gov. Pat Quinn speaks with the media in Chicago in February, 2015. Quinn is pitching a redistricting plan he says will meet constitutional muster.

M. Spencer Green / AP

Former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has his own idea for changing how legislative boundaries are drawn, following the rejection of another proposal by the Illinois Supreme Court last week.

The high court ruled that a petition-driven ballot measure meant to take politics out of redistricting violated the Illinois Constitution.

The proposal from the Independent Maps coalition would have allowed a commission to draw legislative boundaries instead of elected officials. Members of the redistricting commission would be chosen by a review panel chosen by the state auditor general.  

A divided court said the Independent Maps plan went beyond the scope of what's constitutionally allowed. However, justices didn't rule out redistricting for future ballots.  

On Tuesday, Quinn released his own draft, that would call for the Illinois Supreme Court to form an 11-person bipartisan panel to draw the boundaries. He says his plan is much simpler than the one from Independent Maps.

"What we want to do now is learn from that and come up with something that’s simple, clean and pristine," said Quinn. "That’s what this is. Leaner and cleaner. Ok? You got the message there?"

Quinn's proposal calls for the Illinois Supreme Court to form the redistricting commission. He says the commission would have 11 members, with no more than six members from any one political party. At least seven members would be required to agree on a legislative map.

If it receives enough signatures and gets past the courts - Illinois voters would not see the former governor's plan on the ballot until 2018.

Quinn says he wants to work with Independent Maps on another try at a redistricting amendment in 2018. The coalition has scheduled a Wednesday morning news conference in Chicago to announce its next steps.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio