SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — On Friday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed three new redistricting maps into law that he said reflect Illinois’ diversity.
The maps outline new districts for the General Assembly, Illinois Supreme Court, and Cook County Board of Review. They also aim to preserve minority representation in Illinois’ government.
Pritzker said he reviewed the proposed maps before signing them to make sure they align with the landmark Voting Rights Act.
“Illinois’ strength is in our diversity, and these maps help to ensure that communities that have been left out and left behind have fair representation in our government,” Pritzker said. “These district boundaries align with both the federal and state Voting Rights Acts, which help to ensure our diverse communities have electoral power and fair representation.”
State Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) reacted to the news and said Pritzker broke his promise to the people of Illinois.
When J.B. Pritzker was a candidate for governor, he made a lot of promises. He told us he was different, that he was a reformer, and that he would veto any map drawn by lawmakers. Today he broke his promise to voters and joins the all-too-long list of Illinois politicians who promise one thing and then do another,” Barickman said.
“The people of Illinois deserve a fair, transparent process that allows them to choose their representatives in government. Pritzker turned his back on them and chose instead to use his signature to further enshrine the broken status quo of politicians picking their voters,” Barickman continued.
House Speaker Emmanuel Chris Welch endorsed the new maps for their diversity.
“Today was a win for the people of this great state,” Welch said. “With Gov. Pritzker’s signature, people of Illinois can be confident in a legislative map that is reflective of the diversity that we see in every corner of our state,” Welch said.
The Voting Rights Act prohibits practices and procedures that discriminate on the basis of race, color, or membership in a protected language minority group. The Illinois Voting Rights Act of 2011 builds on that law by making sure redistricting plans are crafted in a way that preserves clusters of minority voters if they are great enough to exert collective electoral power.
Pritzker said the maps he signed into law today both adequately preserve minority representation and reflect the diversity of Illinois.
The administration said boundaries in the redistricting maps account for population changes in the state, especially in regions that saw the most population loss as recorded by U.S. Census’ American Community Survey. The General Assembly held more than 50 public hearings statewide.
Both the Illinois House of Representatives and the Illinois Senate adopted detailed summaries of each individual House and Senate district, including communities of interest, geographic descriptions, and demographic data.
The General Assembly Redistricting Act of 2021 (HB 2777), the Judicial Districts Act of 2021 (SB 642), and the Cook County Board of Review Redistricting Act of 2021 (SB 2661) take effect immediately.