(The Center Square) – The partisan divide was on full display over the weekend as lawmakers debated, and majority Democrats passed, new legislative boundaries that could be the law of the land for the next ten years.
During debate late Friday state Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, criticized Republicans for not producing a proposed map of their own.
“Nothing, zero, zilch, zippo, you didn’t draw a map,” Hoffman said. “You spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on attorneys yet you haven’t produced a map.”
Standing outside a darkened governor’s office Saturday, House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, said Republicans can’t draw maps without detailed data.
“We’re not going to produce a map that’s based on flawed data that has been rejected in courts throughout the United States and also on ones that the U.S. Census Bureau even stated that the [American Community Survey] is not proper to count people,” Durkin said. “That’s why we are not going to draw a map until we see the Census data.”
Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie, R-Hawthorn Woods, said Saturday that Democrats ignored groups who urged lawmakers to delay passage of maps until the final Census data is out.
“It is a rejection really of those people, whether it’s minority groups, good government groups, any of those, it’s a rejection of that in favor of one thing and one thing only and that’s partisan advantage for his own party,” McChonchie said.
Statehouse Democrats said they used American Community Survey data that is a third of a percent off from the total statewide population, but are avoiding the constitution’s failsafe for a commission to draw the maps.
Republicans want a commission to draw the maps, something Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, said Friday may be an option per the constitution, but not favored by majority Democrats.
“Handing over control to eight politicians who will then deadlock and be joined by a ninth, it is the most opaque, partisan way we could possibly redistrict,” Harmon said.
Republicans said the governor needs to keep his campaign promise to veto partisan-drawn maps.