The Senate Democrats' redistricting reform bill cleared a House committee yesterday and is moving towards a final floor vote today. But that may be as far as it gets. Illinois Issues' Jamey Dunn is reporting
that House Democrats can't find a Republican willing to cross the aisle
and back the measure. Without at least one GOP vote, the measure --
which needs a three-fifths majority to be put before voters in November -- will be
voted down. And a golden opportunity to develop a more logical
system for drawing legislative maps will be wasted.
Democrats will receive plenty of blame -- and not without reason. They took months to introduce their own proposal
and have not budged on a provision that would allow a simple majority
in each chamber to approve new districts. (Reformers want at least a
three-fifths majority requirement.) At the same time, Republicans refused
to introduce an amendment to their competing Fair Map proposal that would have added
more protection for minority voting populations, a key (and important)
plank in the Democrats' bill. Meanwhile, editorial boards across Illinois, with the exception of the State Journal-Register, have gone out of their way to characterize the Democratic proposal as fundamentally flawed, even though it strongly resembles the Fair Map plan and has earned the approval
of the Paul Simon Institute.
pretty rare for the two parties to share so much common ground on a
controversial issue. But without some last-minute movement, it could be all for naught.