Truth-check: Did GOP lawmakers push for impartial map fee?


Throughout his 2018 marketing campaign for governor, Democrat J.B. Pritzker pledged to veto any state legislative redistricting plan drawn by politicians.

This month he went again on that promise, signing into legislation district maps created with out Republican enter by Democratic lawmakers who maintain supermajorities within the state legislature.

The plan he permitted creates new boundaries for the districts that legislative candidates will compete in over the following decade, and units up not less than seven major contests between state Home Republican incumbents subsequent 12 months. Pritzker additionally permitted new, Democrat-drawn boundaries for Illinois Supreme Court docket districts, which have been final redrawn greater than half a century in the past. Boundaries for Illinois congressional seats haven’t but been drawn.

A day earlier than approving the brand new maps, Pritzker was requested in an interview with WTTW to deal with GOP critics calling on him to show he wasn’t mendacity to voters throughout his marketing campaign by rejecting the Democrats’ maps.

“What I actually need is a constitutional modification for an impartial fee to attract the maps. That’s what the legislature ought to have performed, didn’t do,” Pritzker mentioned. “There are individuals who wished to have laws handed for an impartial fee. It’s unclear to me whether or not that’s constitutional or not, however that might have been a solution to do it. Then, Republicans and Democrats working collectively in a bipartisan vogue would have been one other solution to get a good map.

“I’ll remind you that the Republicans don’t appear to need to do any of these issues,” he continued. “They’ve argued that they need an impartial fee, however they didn’t do something about it.”

As WTTW reporter Amanda Vinicky informed Pritzker, nevertheless, GOP lawmakers filed laws to create an impartial fee this session. Pritzker didn’t reply to that time throughout the phase, so we determined to seek out out what the governor was speaking about when he mentioned Republicans “didn’t do something” to get impartial maps.

GOP laws raises constitutional questions, however exhibits Republicans did act

Over time, citizen initiatives and lawmakers from each events have provided plans aimed toward thwarting the follow of partisan gerrymandering, the place the dominant political get together manipulates boundaries to learn their candidates and, generally, incumbents usually.

Republican lawmakers within the Basic Meeting filed two proposals to create an impartial redistricting fee with out amending the structure this 12 months. One invoice they put forth was backed by GOP leaders in each chambers, however neither measure obtained Democratic assist.

Whereas that laws sat idle in a Democrat-controlled committee this session, the invoice’s GOP proponents labored to attract consideration to the measure at information conferences, framing their plan as an alternative choice to the map Democrat lawmakers reviewed behind closed doorways this spring in the identical room the place get together leaders met a decade in the past to create the present map.

It’s all “energy politics,” in accordance with Chris Mooney, a state politics professional on the College of Illinois’ Institute of Authorities & Public Affairs. The Democratic majority, he mentioned, is aware of most of the people “just isn’t actually exercised about this entire enterprise and they’re betting the Republicans can’t make them exercised about it.”

“They [Republicans] did one thing, I feel that’s fairly clear,” Mooney mentioned. “Whether or not it amounted to a hill of beans, that’s one other query.”

So we reached out to Pritzker’s workplace to ask why the governor mentioned the GOP “didn’t do something” to attempt to create an impartial fee.

In response, Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh informed us the GOP laws conflicts with the state structure, which lays out a particular course of for redistricting. Whether or not or not the GOP laws would prevail in courtroom stays open for debate.

The Illinois Structure duties the Basic Meeting with drawing new legislative districts within the 12 months following every federal decennial census. Failure to move a plan and get it signed into legislation by June 30 triggers a course of involving a bipartisan fee that finally provides each events a 50-50 likelihood at choosing the state’s subsequent map, an end result Democrats have sought to keep away from.

State Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie, R-Hawthorn Woods, third from right, joins other Illinois House and Senate Republicans at a news conference last month called to ask Gov. J.B. Pritzker to veto the newly drawn maps.

State Senate Republican Chief Dan McConchie, R-Hawthorn Woods (third from proper) joins different Illinois Home and Senate Republicans at a information convention in Might, calling on Gov. J.B. Pritzker to veto the newly drawn maps.
Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register by way of AP file

Lawmakers and the governor may move a legislation creating a brand new fee with out amending the structure if that panel was solely advisory, in accordance with Ann Lousin, a professor of constitutional legislation on the College of Illinois-Chicago John Marshall Legislation Faculty.

The GOP plan doesn’t explicitly describe the bipartisan advisory fee of 16 court-appointed members, although it does state that panel would hand off its map to the lawmaker-appointed legislative redistricting fee already empowered by the structure to take over the method if a lawmaker-drawn map just isn’t permitted by June 30.

Constitutional hypotheticals apart, nevertheless, Pritzker cited creating an impartial fee via the legislative course of as one of many choices Republicans may have tried in his remarks to WTTW. We requested Abudayyeh to deal with this, however didn’t hear again.

Our ruling

Pritzker mentioned Republican lawmakers “have argued that they need an impartial fee, however they didn’t do something about it.”

Republicans filed and promoted laws this session aimed toward creating an impartial redistricting fee, and in his remarks to WTTW Pritzker cited creating an impartial panel by way of laws as one of many methods lawmakers may have tried for an impartial map.

Whether or not or not the GOP plan would have held up in courtroom, it’s clear Republican lawmakers made not less than some effort to create a redistricting fee not managed by the legislature.

We charge Pritzker’s declare Principally False.

MOSTLY FALSE – The assertion incorporates a component of reality however ignores essential details that will give a distinct impression.

Click on right here for extra on the six PolitiFact scores and the way we choose details to verify.

The Higher Authorities Affiliation runs PolitiFact Illinois, the native arm of the nationally famend, Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking enterprise that charges the truthfulness of statements made by governmental leaders and politicians. BGA’s fact-checking service has teamed up weekly with the Solar-Occasions, in print and on-line. Yow will discover all of the PolitiFact Illinois tales we’ve reported collectively right here.


“Candidate query: impartial maps,” Capitol Fax, March 5, 2018

“Pritzker flips on map promise, indicators Democrats’ model,” The Related Press, June 4, 2021

“Illinois Republicans sue in federal courtroom to attempt to overturn Democratic-drawn legislative maps,” Chicago Tribune, June 6, 2021

“One-on-One With Gov. Pritzker: Redistricting, Reopening and Extra,” WTTW, June 3, 2021

Home Invoice 59, 102nd Illinois Basic Meeting

Senate Invoice 1325, 102nd Illinois Basic Meeting

Home Republican information convention, April 21, 2021

Senate Republican information convention, Might 5, 2021

Telephone interview: Chris Mooney, professor of state politics on the College of Illinois-Chicago, June 9, 2021

E mail: Jordan Abudayyeh, Pritzker spokesperson, June 7, 2021

The Structure of the State of Illinois, Article IV, Part 3

Telephone interview: Ann Lousin, professor of constitutional legislation on the College of Illinois-Chicago John Marshall Legislation Faculty, June 9, 2021

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