Rezin calls for independent redistricting commission

Lawmaker co-sponsors the People’s Independent Maps Act

Senate Deputy Minority Leader Sue Rezin is co-sponsoring the People’s Independent Maps Act, which gives an independent commission, rather than politicians, the power to create Illinois legislative redistricting maps.

Rezin, R-Morris, said she is doing so in an effort to combat gerrymandering of districts.

“The People’s Independent Maps Act ensures that the residents of Illinois are the ones who pick their lawmakers, instead of the current system where politicians decide their constituency,” Rezin said in a news release. “For years, Illinoisans on both sides of the political spectrum have called for the use of an independent commission that truly represents their interests, instead of the partisan politics that are currently used.”

The People’s Independent Maps Act, Senate Bill 1325, uses identical language from a bipartisan constitutional amendment for an independent redistricting commission known as SJRCA 0004. The resolution garnered 37 co-sponsors in the Senate, including 18 Democrats.

The People’s Independent Maps Act, which would apply only to the 2021 redistricting cycle, would do the following:

  • Give the Illinois Supreme Court the power to appoint 16 independent citizen commissioners to the Independent Redistricting Commission within 30 days of the bill becoming law.
  • Require the makeup of the commission to reflect the ethnic, gender and racial demographics of the state.
  • Evenly split the commissioners between those of a certain party affiliation, as well as include members without party affiliation.
  • Prohibit legislators, state employees and lobbyists from serving on the commission.
  • Require the commission to hold at least 10 public hearings throughout the state before adopting a plan, with at least four hearings after a map is proposed.
  • Require the commission to release a map within 30 days of receipt of the U.S. Census Bureau redistricting data.

“It is our duty to ensure that the people of Illinois are fairly represented during the drawing of legislative districts,” Rezin said. “It is time for lawmakers to do the right thing by removing ourselves from the redrawing process.”

In addition to sponsoring the People’s Independent Map Act, Rezin is a member of the Senate Redistricting Committee on Kane and Kendall Counties and is the subminority spokesperson for the Senate Redistricting Committee on Kankakee and Will counties.