State House Republicans are calling for redistricting changes in conjunction with continuing efforts of ethics reform in Illinois.
House Republican leaders met with members of the media during a press conference at the statehouse on Tuesday in Springfield to lay out their legislative agenda for this year.
House Minority Leader Jim Durkin listed several goals his caucus has for the year, including a continued focus on redistricting in the state, which Durkin says is a key step in ending political corruption.
“To help Illinois grow again and restore trust in government, the caucus’s priorities for this session that will accomplish those goals are property tax reform, putting an end to the politically drawn legislative districts, and most importantly, passing significant ethics reforms that will finally stop the culture of corruption in Illinois.”
All 44 Republican members support a constitutional amendment introduced by Durkin, that calls for an 11 member commission to draw future district maps in a effort to remove politicians from the boundary setting process.
Representative Tom Demmer of Dixon says they would also like to change the way legislative maps are drawn every 10 years.
“As we enter the year of the census, 2020 across the country, in towns and neighborhoods people are going to be counted so we understand who lives where in the state of Illinois. So we can ensure that the next round of maps are drawn fairly and equally. We should also ensure that those maps are not drawn for political purposes.”
House Republicans are also pushing for legislation reforming lawmaker behavior. Rep. Grant Wehlri, from Naperville, says that what he called “common sense measures” include prohibiting representatives and senators from being lobbyists while in office, preventing them from immediately becoming lobbyists after leaving their post and increasing the economic interest information legislators have to disclose, according to Capitol News Illinois.
Durkin says the caucus was pleased to get some pro-business reforms passed last year, and he hopes that spirit of cooperation will continue this year in the capitol.