* Mark Brown writes about the newly revamped proposal to put a legislative redistricting reform proposal before the voters next year…
(Y)ou can expect Illinois Democrats, who currently control both chambers of the Legislature, to dig in against the commission proposal.
There will be those who don’t want to do anything right now that might help new Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner tip the balance of power away from the Democrats, just as there will be those who think this is a great way to mess with House Speaker Madigan.
A redistricting commission wouldn’t even be appointed until 2021, with its first map to take effect the following year.
It would be extremely shortsighted to judge long-term structural changes on the basis of getting back at individual personalities, who may or may not still be in power then.
I would argue that the Democrats need to start thinking ahead. If Gov. Rauner is reelected, he will almost certainly refuse to sign any Democratic-drawn map. That’ll push the issue to a drawing, where each party will have a 50-50 chance of creating the new district boundaries.
* Meanwhile, from the Trib…
Petition-driven efforts to ask voters to change the state’s governing document are extremely limited by the Illinois Constitution.
In striking down the redistricting proposal last year, [Judge Mary Mikva] ruled that provisions that would prevent any of the commissioners from holding various appointed or elected offices for 10 years was an unconstitutional limitation on qualifications to serve in the legislature. That provision was removed in the renewed effort.
To get on the ballot, the proposal would require the valid signatures of 290,216 Illinois voters. A State Board of Elections review of signatures in the previous effort found it likely that the proposal lacked the number needed. This time around, supporters have hired a paid petition-gathering group that has shown success in getting signatures.
“We know we’re going to have challenges in the court system on the constitutionality of the amendment. We know we’re going to have challenges to the petition signatures. We’re very confident we’ll get through that,” FitzSimons said. “Can things go wrong? Things can always go wrong. But again, building on the earlier campaigns, we definitely feel we have an advantage.”