The Illinois Senate this week advanced one amendment to the Illinois Constitution that would change the process of drawing the state’s legislative and congressional district lines, though Republican lawmakers pointed out the measure, SJRCA 30, still gives politicians the power to draw their own political boundaries. Senate Republicans contend that the process of drawing legislative districts should be handed over to a non-partisan, independent body—a critical provision not included in SJRCA 30.
However, a Republican proposal that would strip the Legislature of the direct power to draw districts in Illinois, was one of a number of constitutional amendments sponsored by Republican Senators that were not allowed a hearing or vote by lawmakers this week. Additionally, constitutional amendments were stalled that would have established terms limits for state lawmakers; increase votes needed to pass legislation during a “lame-duck session,” which is the time period after an election and before a new General Assembly begins; and set term limits for constitutional offers.
Two additional amendments to the constitution pending before the Senate failed to advance for consideration by voters on the November General Election Ballot. SJRCA 1 would have allowed the state to move from a “flat” tax rate to a “graduated” income tax and SJRCA 29 would have eliminated the Lt. Governor’s office.