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Illinois House Formally Enters Redistricting Game

The Illinois House has formed its own redistricting committee, a few days after its state Senate counterpart got started with public hearings. The committees are tasked with taking public input, and then drafting new boundaries for legislative and congressional districts based on the recently released Census data.

State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, a Chicago Democrat, will chair the panel. The other Democratic members include Reps. Frank Mautino of Spring Valley, Lou Lang of Skokie, Karen Yarbrough of Maywood, Marlow Colvin of Chicago and Edward Acevedo of Chicago. Mautino is the only Democrat on the committee who lives outside the Chicago area. The Republican members have not yet been announced.

Currie, who chaired a similar panel during the redistricting process ten years ago, said that 15 committee hearings are scheduled, with more likely to be added. The first three will take place on April 16th in Champaign, Cicero and McHenry.

At the meeting this week of the Senate's redistricting committee, several speakers argued there should be time allotted for public comment before the General Assembly signs off on a map proposal. They want a week delay between whenever the draft map is made public, and when lawmakers vote.

"That would be dandy if we have time to do that," Currie said. "A lot of people kind of work up to deadlines."

The deadline in this case is May 31, the last day Democrats will be able to pass new legislative and congressional maps without Republican votes. The vote threshold moves from a majority to a super-majority when June begins.

The House committee, like the Senate one, has set up a website for Illinoisans to check out the census data.

Democratic Sen. Kwame Raoul of Chicago chairs the Senate redistricting committee. That panel next meets on April 6 in Springfield.

Categories: Government, Politics