News

Push On to Change Legislative District Map Process

Push On to Change Legislative District Map Process

Photo: Newsradio WTAX

Another day, another stack of petitions is arriving in Springfield for a constitutional amendment.

A day after the term limits petitions were filed, the independent maps petitions departed the Chicago campaign headquarters on their way to the Board of Elections.

“We’ve been working over the past nine months to gather signatures all over the state, with a lot of volunteers, thousands and thousands of volunteers, and then a very large paid effort where we had field organizers out six and seven days a week gathering signatures,” campaign manager Michael Kolenc said this (Thursday) morning before the petitions, bound in a stack 27 feet long, were loaded into a tractor-trailer for the ride to Springfield.

Kolenc says there are 532,264 signatures, with 298,000 valid signatures needed to qualify for the ballot. About one-third were gathered by volunteers.

The measure, if it’s approved, would establish an independent, largely non-political commission to draw districts for the General Assembly every 10 years. As it is now, the maps are drawn either directly by, or under the influence of, the lawmakers themselves.

This effort has the support of Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, even if it means some of the power of the Democratic Party will be shrunk. “What I want to have is a democracy that works well in the state of Illinois, and having maps that make sense for citizens is an important step in getting there,” she said.

Kolenc says he expects a line-by-line signature challenge, and a legal challenge as to whether this measure meets the requirements for a petition-drive constitutional amendment.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Springfield Public Schools Look at Financing Options

Fresh
school board headquarters

Springfield Public Schools is putting a plan in place if state budget cuts end up meaning cutting at least two state aid payments.

in Local

Springfield CVB Nabs National “G.I. Joe” Convention

G

It's not unusual for Springfield to host conventions for collectors of certain types of memorabilia, but this is a first.

in Local

Sangamon Co. Authorities Investigate Jury Duty Scam

sangamon county sheriff

The Sangamon County Sheriff's Office is warning of a jury duty scam that's so far affected several people.

in Local

Poe Returns to House Chamber to Thunderous Applause

state_capitol_1

Poe is back in the saddle after being sidelined for months due to a blood disorder.

in Local

Meteorological Winter Ends; Illinois Was About Average

snow1

Winter is over -- at least for the people who study the weather.