Springfield – Today, State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) held a press conference with Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and other members of the House Republican Leadership team to discuss their legislative priorities for this year’s legislative session.
“Last year, we saw important bipartisan achievements because House Republicans were brought to the negotiating table,” said Rep. Demmer. “Our budget is balanced, we enacted several desperately-needed, job-creating business reforms, and we passed historic investments in our state’s infrastructure all because Republicans and Democrats were willing to compromise and work together, but there is still more work to be done.
“To help Illinois grow and restore trust in state government, House Republicans will be pushing for property tax reform to halt skyrocketing property taxes, fair maps so we can remove the redistricting process out of the hands of politicians, and most importantly, tough, new ethics rules to crack down on corruption. If we put partisan differences aside and focus on getting results for the people of Illinois, I am confident we can get the job done.”
Currently, there is bipartisan, bicameral support for independent redistricting reform (HJRCA 15 / SJRCA 4). There have also been continued, bipartisan calls for ethics reform following the developments of ongoing federal investigations in to corruption in state government.
Rep. Demmer focused his remarks at the press conference on the urgent need to pass independent redistricting reform, or fair maps. If a fair maps referendum is to be placed on the 2020 General Election ballot, lawmakers must pass a constitutional amendment by early May.
“Fair maps might be the most critical reform we could enact to change the culture of state government,” Rep. Demmer continued. “Currently, every ten years following the Census, lawmakers in the majority get together behind closed doors to draw their own legislative district boundaries and expand their political power. That process is fundamentally wrong and suppresses the will of the voters. Our state desperately needs fair maps to put the people back in charge of our state’s electoral process. We have about three months to pass fair maps if we want to allow voters to weigh in on the issue this November.”
You can watch Rep. Demmer’s remarks at the press conference HERE.