“State of the State” fails to address legislative redistricting

Senate Republicans reacted to Gov. Pritzker’s first official “State of the State” address, delivered to a joint session of Illinois lawmakers Jan. 29 in the House of Representatives chambers, noting that the Governor failed to mention the critical issue of redistricting reform.

State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) issued the following statement in his reaction to the Address: “While I can commend the Administration for recognizing the accomplishments achieved through bipartisan compromise in the 2019 spring legislature, there are still fundamental issues that need to be addressed in the General Assembly. We’ve had three Illinois Democrats in the state legislature indicted on charges of corruption, creating a serious lack of trust in the integrity of lawmakers. Compounding the question of integrity is the state’s current system of drawing maps for legislative boundaries, which has historically been geared toward protecting current officeholders and favoring the majority party.”

The Governor gave his assessment of how Illinois is doing as his Administration enters its second year.  He is expected to present his Budget Address for Fiscal Year 2021 on Feb. 19.

The Senate Republican Caucus says, despite the Governor’s glowing assessment, much more needs to be done, including placing a stronger emphasis on rooting out corruption as a priority – beginning with fundamentally changing how the state draws legislative maps. 

Currently, legislative maps are drawn behind closed doors by the party in power. Republican lawmakers have argued it is past time to give the people of Illinois the opportunity to vote on a constitutional amendment that would create a new, non-partisan redistricting process.

The Caucus also stands ready to work with lawmakers across the aisle and in the House to advance meaningful property tax reform and promote the kind of economic climate that encourages job creation and growth.  

Dale Fowler

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