Remap flap 2.0: House Democrats OK new legislative maps, Republicans cry ‘sham’

State Rep. Lisa Hernandez, D-Cicero, testifies on behalf of the updated maps on the House floor Tuesday night. | Blue Room StreamAlong with the House approving the revised legislative maps, the state Senate OK’d the governor’s revisions to an ethics package that Republicans dismissed as watered-down and diluted. But Pritzker’s amendatory veto failed to pass the House Tuesday night. It was not immediately clear what would be next for the ethics bill. House Democrats pushed revised maps of newly drawn legislative boundaries through their chamber on Tuesday, calling the latest versions consistent with “the diversity and values of our great state” — but Republicans blasted the remap redo as a “travesty” and a “sham.” Despite actual population figures and a new round of public hearings, Democrats and Republican lawmakers were essentially back where they were three months ago. Introducing the redistricting measures on the House floor, state Rep. Lisa Hernandez, D-Cicero, said the updated maps are “not only consistent with the U.S. and Illinois constitutions,” as well as the federal voting rights act, they are “consistent with the diversity and values of our great state.” House Republicans argued the Democrats were consistent with what the GOP characterized as the unilateral, one-sided, secretive process in drawing the hotly contested political maps, which will chart the next decade of elections in Illinois. Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP State Rep. Lisa Hernandez, D-Cicero, speaks during an Illinois House of Representatives Redistricting Committee meeting in Springfield earlier Tuesday.Some Republicans said they spotted errors in a House redistricting resolution and asked for the measure to be removed from the record so the chamber could correct it. Hernandez said no. Other Republicans complained they only had a half hour to review the measures before the vote. State Rep. Avery Bourne, R- Morrisonville, said she “cannot imagine what the community groups are thinking right now looking at this” after participating in the series of hearings. “All of the time they put into this process ... all to culminate with this. You might as well say, ‘We drew this for our own power. Hope you like it, you might get to read it after you vote on it,’” Bourne said. “This is the opposite of transparent. It was a sham to ask the public to be in those hearings if you’re not even going to take into consideration their suggestions.” Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP State Rep. Avery Bourne, R-Morrisonville, asks questions of state Rep. Lisa Hernandez, D-Cicero, during an Illinois House of Representatives Redistricting Committee meeting in Springfield earlier Tuesday.Democrats defended the process and suggested if Republicans don’t like the maps, they should look to themselves and their message. State Rep. Delia Ramirez, D-Chicago, said the census data shows “it’s not the constituents of Democrats who are leaving in droves — the people who are leaving are the people who are represented by Republicans.” Despite the back and forth, the maps passed in a party line vote 73 to 43. They headed back to the Senate for that chamber to vote whether to approve the updates made to the bill. Senators began that debate late Tuesday. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said the vote in his chamber “confirms that the Illinois Democrats have no interest in honest government. “Contrary to their campaign promises, the House Democrats passed a legislative map that lacks any transparency or public input,” the Western Springs Republican said. “After lying to taxpayers once, the Governor now has the opportunity to live up to his campaign promises and veto this politician-drawn map.” Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, standing, watches as state Rep. Tim Butler, right, R-Springfield, questions Illinois State Rep. Lisa Hernandez, D-Cicero, during an Illinois House of Representatives Redistricting Committee meeting on Tuesday.That plea is likely to fall on deaf ears — again. Over GOP objections, Democrats used population estimates from the Census’ American Community Survey to create their first set of legislative maps, which they passed in the waning days of the May session. But they returned to Springfield on Tuesday to amend the maps with actual population figures that the Census Bureau released in mid-August. After the initial maps passed, Republicans called on Gov. J.B. Pritzker to honor his 2018 campaign pledge to veto any map drawn by politicians rather than an independent commission. When he didn’t heed that call, Republicans called him a liar and a “sell-out” to the “corrupt Democrat machine.” Along with the House approving the revised legislative maps, the state Senate OK’d the governor’s amendatory veto making revisions to an ethics package that Republicans had dismissed as “weak.” That measure passed the Senate unanimously, but fai

Remap flap 2.0: House Democrats OK new legislative maps, Republicans cry ‘sham’
State Rep. Lisa Hernandez, D-Cicero, testifies on behalf of the updated maps on the House floor Tuesday night.
State Rep. Lisa Hernandez, D-Cicero, testifies on behalf of the updated maps on the House floor Tuesday night. | Blue Room Stream

Along with the House approving the revised legislative maps, the state Senate OK’d the governor’s revisions to an ethics package that Republicans dismissed as watered-down and diluted. But Pritzker’s amendatory veto failed to pass the House Tuesday night. It was not immediately clear what would be next for the ethics bill.

House Democrats pushed revised maps of newly drawn legislative boundaries through their chamber on Tuesday, calling the latest versions consistent with “the diversity and values of our great state” — but Republicans blasted the remap redo as a “travesty” and a “sham.”

Despite actual population figures and a new round of public hearings, Democrats and Republican lawmakers were essentially back where they were three months ago.

Introducing the redistricting measures on the House floor, state Rep. Lisa Hernandez, D-Cicero, said the updated maps are “not only consistent with the U.S. and Illinois constitutions,” as well as the federal voting rights act, they are “consistent with the diversity and values of our great state.”

House Republicans argued the Democrats were consistent with what the GOP characterized as the unilateral, one-sided, secretive process in drawing the hotly contested political maps, which will chart the next decade of elections in Illinois.

State Rep. Lisa Hernandez, D-Cicero, speaks during an Illinois House of Representatives Redistricting Committee meeting in Springfield earlier Tuesday.Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP
State Rep. Lisa Hernandez, D-Cicero, speaks during an Illinois House of Representatives Redistricting Committee meeting in Springfield earlier Tuesday.

Some Republicans said they spotted errors in a House redistricting resolution and asked for the measure to be removed from the record so the chamber could correct it.

Hernandez said no.

Other Republicans complained they only had a half hour to review the measures before the vote.

State Rep. Avery Bourne, R- Morrisonville, said she “cannot imagine what the community groups are thinking right now looking at this” after participating in the series of hearings.

“All of the time they put into this process ... all to culminate with this. You might as well say, ‘We drew this for our own power. Hope you like it, you might get to read it after you vote on it,’” Bourne said.

“This is the opposite of transparent. It was a sham to ask the public to be in those hearings if you’re not even going to take into consideration their suggestions.”

State Rep. Avery Bourne, R-Morrisonville, asks questions during an Illinois House of Representatives Redistricting Committee meeting Tuesday.Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP
State Rep. Avery Bourne, R-Morrisonville, asks questions of state Rep. Lisa Hernandez, D-Cicero, during an Illinois House of Representatives Redistricting Committee meeting in Springfield earlier Tuesday.

Democrats defended the process and suggested if Republicans don’t like the maps, they should look to themselves and their message.

State Rep. Delia Ramirez, D-Chicago, said the census data shows “it’s not the constituents of Democrats who are leaving in droves — the people who are leaving are the people who are represented by Republicans.”

Despite the back and forth, the maps passed in a party line vote 73 to 43. They headed back to the Senate for that chamber to vote whether to approve the updates made to the bill. Senators began that debate late Tuesday.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said the vote in his chamber “confirms that the Illinois Democrats have no interest in honest government.

“Contrary to their campaign promises, the House Democrats passed a legislative map that lacks any transparency or public input,” the Western Springs Republican said. “After lying to taxpayers once, the Governor now has the opportunity to live up to his campaign promises and veto this politician-drawn map.”

Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, standing, watches as state Rep. Tim Butler, right, R-Springfield, asks questions during an Illinois House of Representatives Redistricting Committee meeting Tuesday.Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP
Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, standing, watches as state Rep. Tim Butler, right, R-Springfield, questions Illinois State Rep. Lisa Hernandez, D-Cicero, during an Illinois House of Representatives Redistricting Committee meeting on Tuesday.

That plea is likely to fall on deaf ears — again.

Over GOP objections, Democrats used population estimates from the Census’ American Community Survey to create their first set of legislative maps, which they passed in the waning days of the May session. But they returned to Springfield on Tuesday to amend the maps with actual population figures that the Census Bureau released in mid-August.

After the initial maps passed, Republicans called on Gov. J.B. Pritzker to honor his 2018 campaign pledge to veto any map drawn by politicians rather than an independent commission.

When he didn’t heed that call, Republicans called him a liar and a “sell-out” to the “corrupt Democrat machine.”

Along with the House approving the revised legislative maps, the state Senate OK’d the governor’s amendatory veto making revisions to an ethics package that Republicans had dismissed as “weak.”

That measure passed the Senate unanimously, but failed to pass the House Tuesday night. It was not immediately clear what would be next for the bill.

The energy package that went nowhere in the spring session is still on lawmakers’ to-do list.

State senators debated the latest draft of energy legislation in a committee Tuesday afternoon, setting a 2045 closure date for the Prairie State coal plant in southern Illinois, a previous sticking point in negotiations between environmental advocates and organized labor.

But the language that surfaced Tuesday didn’t go far enough for environmentalists.

“We want to see a bill that puts people and climate first, that sets us on a path to a future that is free from carbon pollution,” Juliana Pino, the policy director of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, said. “If we keep doing what we’re doing the planet will continue to warm. The status quo is not sufficient to address climate and the current bill in front of us is also not sufficient to comprehensively address climate we have to solve for that.”