There are competing constitutional amendments to change how Illinois draws political maps. Northern Illinois Democratic state Rep. Jack Franks said his proposal is better than one filed nearly a year ago by Republican Jim Durkin. “This amendment has protections that leader Durkin’s, I think, left out inadvertently,” Franks said. Franks said his amendment addresses concerns about minority population representation and will stand constitutional muster.
Independent Map Amendment spokesman Jim Bray said his group’s citizen initiative is similar to Durkin's proposal and will also stand up to any legal challenge. “We’ve had a team of lawyers review the amendment language and feel it’s constitutional and will pass constitutional muster,” Bray said. A Republican state representative says it’s not fair to waive rules for a Democrat-sponsored redistricting proposal while refusing to advance a GOP-sponsored measure. Franks was granted waiver so he could have his constitutional amendment heard in committee. “If we really want to allow for fair and independent maps, this is the only way we are going to get there,” Franks said. Northern Illinois Republican state Rep. Ron Sandack says to really be fair, Durkin’s measure should also be considered by lawmakers. “We ought to be debating something that’s been on file for a year -- for a year -- and let it have a full vetting and then compare and contrast,” Sandack said. Bray said his group’s citizen initiative to get the question in front of voters this November will continue regardless of whether Franks’ or Durkin’s measures advance. The state Constitution limits Illinois lawmakers to three constitutional amendments per election but doesn’t place limits on citizen initiatives.
(Copyright WBGZ / www.AltonDailyNews.com)
We want to hear from you. Provide your thoughts and comments below.