* From a press release…
In the aftermath of Thursday’s Illinois Supreme Court ruling against the Independent Map redistricting plan, former Governor Pat Quinn will offer a plan Tuesday which would be “fair and constitutional”.
“Voters deserve the chance to be heard on remap reform. Half a million voters signed petitions urging the question be put on the ballot but the language was fatally flawed,” Quinn said. “It’s back to the drawing board.”
Twice since 2014, courts have rejected proposals to reform Illinois’ partisan and archaic reapportionment process due to poorly-worded amendments.
“Unlike Independent Map’s plan, our language is simple, clean, and pristine,” Quinn said. As the only person in Illinois history to successfully amend the Constitution by referendum, Quinn will propose a redistricting referendum amendment which he is confident will pass constitutional muster.
In 1980, Quinn’s Cutback Amendment to cut the size of the Illinois Legislature by a third was approved by the Supreme Court, the only time such a reform has been accomplished using the power of referendum in Illinois history.
“Having won before the Supreme Court on the interpretation of Article IV, Section 3, I know the Justices’ legal concerns,” Quinn said.
Quinn plans to reach out to the Independent Map organizers to offer a new and improved version. The voters would be able to vote in a 2018 referendum on a redistricting reform amendment. If adopted by the voters, the plan would be in effect for the 2021 redistricting.
WHEN: Tuesday, August 30, 2016, 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: James R. Thompson Center
15th Floor - Blue Room
* Part of the reason for the two-time failure of the Independent Maps plan was its overly complicated, Rube Goldberg processes for achieving its end result. It was just too easy to nitpick those plans to death.
If Quinn is truly pushing language that is “simple, clean, and pristine,” it might have a better shot. By simply dictating the desired outcome, rather than laying out the actual process in excruciating detail, it would avoid numerous Supreme Court pitfalls.
I get why the remap reformers tried it the other way. They simply don’t trust the General Assembly to come up with their desired outcome. But their way has failed twice in a row. It’s time for a different approach.
* On the other hand, Quinn signed the last remap into law, so he’s not exactly trustworthy on this particular stage. Still, it’ll be interesting to see what he comes up with.
*** UPDATE *** From the Illinois Republican Party…
“Pat Quinn is the very reason Illinois doesn’t already have fair maps. In 2011, Quinn signed into law the gerrymandered district lines we have today. Instead of standing up for reform when he was in charge of the state, Quinn worked with Mike Madigan to rig the political system in their favor. We don’t need Pat Quinn to fix Pat Quinn’s map.” – Illinois Republican Party Spokesman Steven Yaffe
In 2011, Governor Pat Quinn signed into law today’s gerrymandered district maps.
Instead of standing up to Mike Madigan and demanding redistricting reform when he had the chance, Quinn offered no resistance and worked with Madigan to rig the system.
In fact, members of Quinn’s own party blamed him in 2010 for killing a redistricting reform proposal that was likely to pass in the legislature.