Yes! For Independent Maps collected 27 feet's worth of signatures to have its redistricting question appear on the November ballot, but that effort is stalled this year now that a judge declared it unconstitutional.
A Cook County judge has ruled that signature-driven ballot measures calling for legislative term limits and a new political redistricting process can't appear on the November ballot.
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Mary Mikva says in a Friday ruling the measures don't meet constitutional requirements to make the ballot.
The ruling is a setback for groups advocating the measures, including one led by Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner. He's made term limits a cornerstone of his campaign to unseat Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.
Citizen initiatives on redistricting and term limits are facing challenges on their way toward inclusion on the November ballot. Governor Quinn signs legislation undoing cuts to the Medicaid program. Also, Illinois Congressman Peter Roskam loses his bid to join the House leadership team in Washington D.C.
A struggling effort to change how Illinois draws its legislative districts will live another day. State election authorities Tuesday (6/17) voted to give it some extra time to prove it deserves to make it on the November ballot.
Supporters were joyous last month when a semi-truck pulled into the state board of elections' parking lot in Springfield.
A campaign to overhaul the state's redistricting process was dropping off a 27-foot-long document, filled with a half million signatures.
Even as a lawsuit could nullify them, the state board of elections has begun a tedious — but necessary — task of preparing a pair of proposed constitutional amendments for the November ballot. The two citizen initiatives aim to strip lawmakers of the power to draw their own maps and to limit their terms in office.
A dozen-or-so workers sit at tables at the board of elections building in Springfield.
Sliding, one at a time, more than 105,000 pieces of paper through scanners," said Rupert Borgsmiller, director of the Illinois State Board of Elections.
The panel discusses several investigations into Governor Pat Quinn's administration and allegations of corruption, also a couple ballot initiatives - one on term limits and another regarding redistricting.
State elections authorities are beginning to go through 37,535 sheets of paper, filled with voters' signatures. An organization trying to change how Illinois draws legislative districts dropped off the monster petition Thursday in Springfield.
The petition made its way from Chicago to Springfield in a custom-made metal box, strapped down in a semi; it took more than a dozen workers and volunteers to carefully unload it.
Attorney Mike Kasper stands at the podium, as House Speaker and Democratic Party of Illinois Chairman Michael Madigan looks on, at a recent Party meeting in Springfield. Kasper, a Madigan ally, has been hired by a group of taxpayers seeking to dismiss two citizen's initiatives.
A lawsuit seeking to keep two citizen's initiatives from ever coming before voters has been filed. Although the case makes no mention of how it will affect minority voters' rights, sources say organizers took pains to reach out to ethnic groups.
Two potential constitutional changes are at issue: one limiting how long legislators can be in office, the other stripping them of the power to draw their own districts.
The suit challenging them was filed by Mike Kasper, an attorney closely aligned with House Speaker Mike Madigan; the powerful Democrat is against both plans.
Illinois' General Assembly is heading into its final stretch. They've got a lot to resolve before their scheduled adjournment at the end of this month, including what to do about Illinois' income tax rate. It's scheduled to drop midway through the next fiscal year, but Democrats, including Senate President John Cullerton, want to make the current, higher rate permanent. WUIS Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky spoke with Cullerton about it earlier this week, and about why, despite the financial fights ahead, he's proud of the state.
House Speaker Michael Madigan is harshly criticizing of a plan that would strip him of control over how Illinois draws its legislative maps. The group backing the change has its own harsh words for Madigan.
How legislative districts are drawn sounds wonky. And it is. But it's also really important as boundaries of a district can help determine which party will win a seat.
Because they control the General Assembly and governor's office, Democrats have largely gotten to control the map-making process in Illinois, including the most recent map, drawn in 2011.
A group that wants to change the way Illinois draws its political districts says it has the signatures it needs to put a measure on the November ballot.
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises reports (http://bit.ly/1pPeAGA) that the group Yes! For Independent Maps announced Tuesday that it has nearly 350,000 signatures. The group needs nearly 300,000 signatures for voters to consider their plan.
That plan would amend the Illinois constitution to require state legislative