Breen Signs On as Chief Co-Sponsor of New Proposal that Gives Citizens a Primary Role in Drawing Legislative Maps

In response to the recent Illinois Supreme Court decision that found the Independent Maps Coalition’s fair maps proposal unconstitutional, State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) is partnering with what he hopes will be a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers on a Constitutional Amendment that would allow citizens to draw legislative maps with the guidance of a non-partisan commission.

“People everywhere are outraged with the 4-3 Supreme Court decision which removed the fair maps initiative from the November ballot,” said Breen, a Chief-Co-Sponsor of the new legislation. “Citizens want to weigh in on this reform and twice now they have been denied their opportunity to vote on it.”

Through HJRCA 60, filed this week in Springfield, issues brought forth in the Supreme Court ruling are addressed. A commission as outlined in the Constitution would provide tools and necessary data to citizens to allow them to create a map that is entirely nonpartisan and meets Constitutional requirements, with the citizen-drawn maps ranked according to an objective scoring measure. The top three ranked maps would then be forwarded to the General Assembly for an up or down vote, with no changes from legislators allowed. In the event that consensus is not reached on one of the three maps, the Secretary of State would step in and certify the map with the highest score.

“HJRCA 60 gives citizens the primary voice in mapmaking. It works within the confines of the legislative article of the Constitution and offers structural and procedural changes that take the map-drawing

responsibilities out of the hands of partisan lawmakers,” Breen said. “It responds to issues identified by the state’s highest court as unconstitutional and would end political gerrymandering of legislative maps. Every Illinoisan who cares about fair elections will win under this nonpartisan measure.”

If approved and implemented, the provisions of HJRCA 60 would be utilized during the next redistricting effort that will occur in 2021 and affect the 2022 elections.