HCA 44
Background and Procedural Information

Democratic Representative James Brosnahan introduced Illinois House Constitutional Amendment 44 (IL
On April 10, 2008 Illinois Demo H.C.A. 44).  As of June 5, 2008 it has not been introduced to a committee.  This amendment would have the effect of no longer requiring two House districts be entirely contained within one Senate district.  It also places the responsibility for the Illinois Senate and House entirely within each body instead of the legislature as a whole.  The method of choosing Congressional districts remains unchanged.    

Under the proposed legislation, are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?

Single-member districts are a requirement.   

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?

There are no restrictions on the Commission or Legislature from using voter history information.  Minority voting districts are encouraged.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The Illinois Senate and House each have responsibility for their own redistricting plan until June 30.  A plan must receive a three-fifths majority vote.  Only the Senate can create a redistricting map for the Senate and only the House can create a redistricting map for the House.  Each body only votes for its own plan.  If a plan is not approved in the Senate the President and Minority Leader must appoint two people to serve on a Legislative District Redistricting Commission.  The House uses a similar plan except that the Speaker of the House and the House Minority Leader appoints the first four commission members to serve on a Representative District Redistricting Commission.  These four people will elect a fifth member who does not belong to either of the state’s largest political parties who will serve as chairman.  This Commission can approve a Senate redistricting plan with the approval of three of the Commissions five members.  If the Commission cannot reach an agreement by July 1 then the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and another Supreme Court Justice selected by the Supreme Court, but from a different party than the Chief Justice will choose one person to act as a Special Master.  The Special Master will then create a final redistricting map.  
Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

No.  There is no provision to foster competitive districts.  

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?

No.  The District Redistricting Commissions “may hold public hearing and collect information,” but it is not required to do so.  

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

No.  There is no provision for mid-decade redistricting.

November 19th 2005
Redistricting reform: How best to tackle ultra-safe districts
Sacramento Bee

FairVote's Rob Richie argues in commentary running in several newspapers that redistricting reformers must challenge winner-take-all elections.

November 16th 2005
In Canada, regular folks are put to work on reforms
San Jose Mercury News

Steven Hill prescribes a citizens assembly as a solution for achieving consensus on redistricting reform in California.

November 15th 2005
Citizens Must Drive Electoral Reform
Roll Call

Heather Gerken of Harvard Law suggests a citizens assembly as one means to achieve redistricting reform and buy-in from voters.

November 13th 2005
Arnold had the right idea about redistricting
The Herald News

The Herald News cites Fairvote with commentary about the dangers of Gerrmandering and redistricting obstacles.

November 13th 2005
ARNOLD AGONIZES: How the election changed the governor -- and California
San Francisco Chronicle

Article discussing the recent failure of redistricting reform in California and the potential solution in letting the citizens decide through a Citizens Assembly on Election Reform.

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