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IFT Legislative Highlights for the Week of March 22 (Part 1 of 2)

The deadline to pass House bills out of House Committees passed March 26. The Senate deadline has been extended to April 16. New leadership in both the House and the Senate, changes to operating procedures, and the ongoing remote committee environment has meant a higher volume of bills in Committees as well as more bills being released from Committee that still need work.

The Illinois General Assembly is on break through the week of April 12, making it a good time to reach out to legislators in their district offices. To learn more about how IFT can support in-district efforts visit IFT's Local Action for Statewide Results (LASR program).

IL Redistricting process begins in earnest

The Illinois House and Senate began hearings to start the process of redrawing congressional and state legislative districts in line with the 2020 census. Lawmakers are holding hearings even though detailed census data will likely be unavailable until September.

The once-in-a-decade process follows the U.S. Census count. Each state is required to draw new boundaries for legislative districts in response to shifts in population. While each state has a unique process for redistricting, legislative districts must conform to several constitutional and statutory standards, including the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

In Illinois, legislative redistricting maps must also meet four requirements including:

  • districts must be substantially equal in population

  • districts must be configured to provide adequate representation to minorities and other special interests protected by state and federal law

  • districts must be compact and contiguous

  • maps must meet all legal requirements regarding political fairness

Public hearings hosted by both the House and Senate are being held up and down the state allowing for communities to have input and/or express concerns, particularly from minority and underrepresented groups.

Submit House testimony here.

Submit Senate testimony