Redistricting Hearings Wrap Up In State House
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WBBM/CBS) – The Illinois House of Representatives has wrapped up its statewide redistricting hearings, and at least one conclusion is apparent – those testifying want more hearings scheduled after the map is drawn.
As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Alex Degman reports, Illinois State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago), who is the House redistricting committee chair, says she is not sure if more hearings will occur, but she is not ruling it out.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Alex Degman reports
“I would be delighted if we can do that. I would be delighted,” she said. “But I’m not making any guarantees. I’m not making any commitments. We don’t have a timeline. Often, things take just about until the deadline before the action really happens.”
The maps are redrawn every 10 years.
Committees in both the state House and Senate have heard testimony from dozens of groups over the past few weeks regarding how they feel the electoral map should be drawn. The state Senate has more hearings scheduled for early next week.
Currie says lawmakers would like to have the maps drawn by the end of June.
In the winter, Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill passed by both chambers that made changes to the methods for redistricting. The bill created the provision for the statewide hearings that just wrapped up in the House, and requires lawmakers to draw districts with an eye on keeping communities linked by race or language from being split up into multiple districts.
For example, in Chinatown, residents have long complained that their area is split up among several districts, watering down their voting power and keeping them from electing Asian-Americans. Currently, Chinatown is divided among four state House districts and three Senate districts.