SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Democratic legislators have released proposed maps for the state's 118 House and 59 Senate districts that they said "ensure the broad racial and geographic diversity of Illinois is reflected in the General Assembly," but that Republicans called partisan.
"Redistricting is about making sure all voices are heard, and that's exactly what this map accomplishes," state Sen. Omar Aquino, a Chicago Democrat, said in a statement accompanying the release Friday evening. Aquino is chair of the Senate's redistricting committee. "This is a fair map that reflects the great diversity of our state and ensures every person receives equal representation in the General Assembly."
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Republicans wasted no time in criticizing the maps.
"Tonight's drop of partisan maps is yet another attempt to mislead voters in an effort to block fair elections," said Rep. Tim Butler, the Republican spokesman of the House Redistricting Committee.
"We continue our call upon Governor Pritzker to live up to his pledge to the people of Illinois and veto a map that was drawn by politicians like what we see here today," Butler said.
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Democrats face a June 30 deadline to enact the maps or give Republicans a 50-50 chance at drawing the new boundary lines. Democrats will seek to approve the maps before the scheduled end-of-May adjournment, and have hearings scheduled for the coming week.
The proposed maps incorporate suggestions gathered during more than 45 public hearings held across the state, Democrats said.
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The Illinois Constitution requires new legislative maps every 10 years to reflect population shifts. The maps released Friday were based on data from the American Census Survey, not actual Census numbers, which have not yet been released.
The maps — which are for legislative districts only, not congressional or Illinois Supreme Court districts — would remain in place for a decade beginning with primary elections in March.
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