Pritzker signs Democrat-drawn congressional maps into law

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FILE – In this Feb. 22, 2021, file photo, Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks at Chicago State University in Chicago. Not everyone’s happy with Gov. Pritzker’s budget proposal. But the “pain,” the deep cuts and the across-the-board tax increases which the Democrat predicted would follow last fall’s amendment to generate more income tax revenue, which voters defeated, hasn’t materialized. (Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Gov. JB Pritzker has signed new congressional district maps, drafted by Illinois legislature’s Democrat majority, into law.

“These maps align with the landmark Voting Rights Act and will ensure all communities are equitably represented in our congressional delegation,” said Pritzker.

Black and Hispanic advocacy groups pressured Democrats to make sure minority voting blocks were kept intact in the new maps.

The map reduces Illinois’ 18 congressional districts to 17, following data from the 2020 Census.

Illinois is losing one seat in Congress, meaning one Republican seat would be eliminated.

Republicans and others criticized the new boundaries as heavily gerrymandered, or drawn to benefit the political party in power. As happened in the recrafting of state legislative districts, interest groups and activists, many aligned with Democrats on most issues, criticized the secretive process and the result.

Illinois’ new map, which will be used for elections through 2030, is aimed at creating a congressional delegation of 14 Democrats and three Republicans, a change from the current 13-5 split. The political fallout was almost immediate.

“These maps are clearly gerrymandered. It is apparent that these maps are more about safeguarding Democratic power, not about what’s best for local residents,” said Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Cherry Valley).

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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