* The Illinois Constitution requires that new legislative maps be enacted by June 30th, but the census data won’t be available until September or so. The National Conference of State Legislatures has suggested using the population estimates from the US Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey and Illinois Democrats have come up with a bit of spin to cast aspersions on the official numbers…
Democrats have said they intend to finish the legislative mapmaking process by June 30, ensuring they will be relying on alternative data to the actual federal 2020 census.
“That’s our constitutional responsibility and that’s our goal to be done by June 30,” said state Sen. Elgie Sims, the Chicago Democrat who is vice chair of the senate redistricting committee. […]
Illinois’ Constitution does not require the use of federal census data for legislative redistricting, and some leading Democrats question the accuracy of the final census data by pointing to efforts by former President Donald Trump’s administration to block the counting of undocumented immigrants.
“There’s nothing that says that this (census) data is going to be accurate anyway because there were significant steps made to impact and influence some of that data,” Sims said. […]
Kathay Feng, the national redistricting director for Common Cause, said to rely on survey data to draw maps “is a guaranteed malapportionment lawsuit.”
Every redistricting cycle involves lawsuits. You can bet your house there will be filings on this topic.
*** UPDATE 1 *** Speaking of redistricting and possibly getting dragged into lawsuits, here’s Lynn Sweet…
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, the most prominent Republican in Illinois, said if Democrats carve up his congressional district in the pending remap, he would consider a statewide run for senator or governor in 2022.
Kinzinger made the comment Thursday on the Chicago Sun-Times political show “At the Virtual Table. On the show another guest, new Democratic Party of Illinois chairwoman Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., said freshman Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill. — not Kinzinger — should be the Democratic target if a district needs to be eliminated.
With Democrats having the upper hand in a remap and Illinois likely to lose at least one seat because of population declines, Kelly said, “If we have something to say about it, I don’t think that it’ll be Adam’s seat.” […]
It is “fine with me” if “her seat is no longer there,” [Kelly said about Miller].
*** UPDATE 2 *** Meanwhile…
Dear Governor Pritzker:
On Monday, April 12, 2021 we requested from the Chairs of the House and Senate redistricting committees that yourself or a high-level member of your office testify at the only scheduled joint House-Senate redistricting hearing. The hearing is scheduled for this next Monday, April 19, 5:00 p.m. in East St. Louis.
At a House Redistricting Committee the evening of Friday, April 16, 2021, the Chair of the Committee that evening stated House Democrats had yet to receive a response to our request.
As the Spokesmen on the respective Senate and House redistricting committees, we ask for your attendance at this hearing.
Comments from Members of the Democratic party during hearings on the 2021 redistricting process lead us to believe that the majority fully plans to enact new maps, without using decennial census data, for both the Legislature and U.S. House of Representatives through a process that includes your approval of new maps by June 30, 2021.
To date, with over 30 hearings being conducted, not a single House or Senate hearing has included testimony from your office.
Given your numerous stated positions in favor of fair mapping, as well as a commission process for redistricting, it is vital that both the people of Illinois and our Committees hear directly from your office in a public hearing as to your views and plans for redistricting.
Senator Jason Barickman
Representative Tim Butler
The full interview is here.
* A guide to political redistricting in Illinois
* How you can share your thoughts with lawmakers on Illinois’ new congressional districts
* Hearing in East St. Louis today ahead of state’s redistricting process
* U of I hosts redistricting talk Tuesday
* Maine redistricting thrown into confusion by census delay, constitutional Catch-22