Stateline lawmakers disagree on new congressional maps

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) – Illinois Democrats released a proposed map of how the state’s new congressional districts could look on Friday.

Boundaries had to be redrawn due to Illinois losing a seat in the House of Representatives, and there has been no lack of reactions from lawmakers.

Republicans and Democrats are disagreeing on the impact that this new map would have on stateline communites.

“The more people who help our area, the better. So the more U.S representatives we have, the better,” said 68th District Democratic Representative Dave Vella.

“All you have to do is look at the map, and you can see that is is the most gerrymandered map in the nation,” countered 35th District Republican Senator Dave Syverson.

The proposal of the state’s potential new congressional districts would see four new districts in the Rockford-area, rather than the two there are now. Vella said that he sees the redrawn boundaries as a win for the region.

“I’m happy that Rockford, Belvidere, and Loves Park are all together like they should be. We’re all inside the 17th district for the first time,” Vella said. “The last map had us cut in half, and I think that lessened our power.”

However, Syverson disagreed. He argued that the stateline would suffer overall, in terms of representation at a federal level.

“When you have a map that goes for 200 some miles, wraps around to multiple cities and counties, it’s possible then for that congressman to fight for that region,” Syverson said.

Current 16th District Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger also reportedly expressed frustration with the proposal, which he said before intending to run for re-election.

Kinzinger said that he will “spend some time looking them over and reviewing all options, including those outside the house,” in a statement Friday. He went on say that “the redistricting process has been anything but transparent.”

The maps still need to be formally approved by the Illinois House and Senate. They are scheduled to return for a fall legislative session next week.

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