Senate Democrats introduced a redistricting reform plan during the week to change the way legislative district maps are drawn in Illinois, but Senator Tim Bivins says it falls short because it still allows politicians to draw their own districts and does nothing to encourage bipartisan compromise.

Senate and House Republicans have introduced legislation (SJRCA 104 and HJRCA 56) that takes the drawing of legislative districts out of the hands of politicians and gives the task to a bipartisan commission. Both measures are backed by reform groups. The Republican plan also requires a two-thirds vote to approve redistricting maps, while the Democrat plan allows a map to be adopted by a simple majority vote.

Republican members of the Senate and House have called for gerrymandering reform in Illinois for years. Republican lawmakers have consistently argued that politicians should not be in charge of drawing the maps, and that the maps should not be drawn based on the incumbent legislator’s residence. Senator Bivins said the redistricting process should be open for public review, and using partisan voting history of district residents to draw maps discourages competition and reduces voter choice. " />

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