* From the Illinois Policy Institute’s Austin Berg…
That’s why it’s so encouraging that a fair maps amendment is seeing huge bipartisan support in Springfield this year.
Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 4 would create an independent 16-member commission to draw legislative maps in Illinois. It has attracted 37 Democratic and Republican senators as sponsors. That’s more than the supermajority vote needed to pass the amendment out of the Senate.
But it has not moved out of the Senate. And Pritzker has not endorsed it.
Ask House Speaker Mike Madigan, who also leads the Democratic Party of Illinois.
Madigan didn’t become the longest-serving legislative leader in U.S. history by letting someone else decide what’s “fair.”
* Aside from Senate President John Cullerton’s opposition, there’s a better explanation for why this didn’t move in the Senate, which doesn’t usually take direct orders from Speaker Madigan. A commenter explained this just yesterday…
Preserving African-American seats in the face of steep declines in Chicago’s black population is gonna be a huge challenge no matter who draws the map. African-American legislators are very worried about this and they trust Madigan and Cullerton to protect them way more than they trust the “Fair Maps” goo-goos. (Want proof? Check out Sen Morrison’s Con Amendment resolution. She’s lined-up a bipartisan supermajority of the chamber as cosponsors, but not a single black member and only one Latina has signed on.)
Senate President Cullerton almost never advances bills which don’t have a majority of his caucus’ support. In this case, there are 18 Democratic co-sponsors out of 40 Senate Democrats. And the Black Caucus is uniformly opposed to the proposal - which is also a sure-fire way to brick anything.