A coalition of good-government groups are hoping to give Illinois voters the opportunity to change the way state lawmakers’ districts are drawn.
Ryan Blitstein points to a study last year by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
More than three-quarters of the Illinois voters surveyed said corruption was “widespread” in state government.
BLITSTEIN: “Something’s going on here when the people aren’t happy, and yet the same legislators are winning again and again and again.”
Blitstein is the president of the advocacy group “Change Illinois!”
Their plan would shift the power to draw legislative maps from lawmakers to an 11-member panel of volunteers.
They would not be allowed to have worked for the state. Seven would be chosen at random, and four would be chosen by legislative leaders of both parties in the House and Senate.
This would require a change to the Illinois Constitution. If “Change Illinois” can manage to collect 300-thousand signatures — a number designed to be difficult — the initiative would be on the ballot at the 2014 General Election.
Previous attempts to change how legislative districts are drawn have come up short, as legislators like drawing their maps themselves.