Members of the House Republican Caucus today called on House Democrats to respect the wishes of Illinoisans by allowing redistricting reform, HJRCA17, to be called for a vote immediately.
“This is one of the strongest statements we can make about reforming Illinois,” said State Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield). “This isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue, so it’s time for the Democrats to decide if they stand for the status quo or for a stronger, better Illinois for generations to come.”
HJRCA 17 would allow voters to decide, by statewide referendum, to amend the Illinois Constitution to create the Independent Redistricting Commission for the purpose of drawing legislative districts. A poll conducted by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute last fall found that 72% of voters, including a majority of both Republicans and Democrats, supported the creation of an independent commission to draw legislative district maps.
Members noted that redistricting reform is directly tied to the state budget and the failure of having unbalanced budgets for more than 10 years.
“When people are no longer able to hold their representatives accountable due to the political leanings of their district, the people have lost,” said State Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon). “That’s especially true when it comes to the fiscal issues of this state. Instead of being held accountable for taking vote after vote after vote to spend money that the State doesn’t have, far too many elected officials get a pass as soon as they go home for no other reason than the letter behind their name on the ballot.”
“Democrats in Illinois like to tout that they and they alone stand for the little guy, but how can they say that with a straight face when it’s clearly not the case,” said State Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego). “It’s time for Illinois Democrats to stop hiding and letting ‘surrogates’ fight this crucial constitutional amendment. The question that House Democrats now need to answer is who do you stand with? Do you stand with a million reform-minded Illinoisans or Mike Madigan?”