On Aug. 16, a report was released that Illinois Senate President Don Harmon was recovering from infection by the COVID-19 derivative. He credited the mild symptoms he was experiencing to having been vaccinated earlier this year. I, and all of his district’s constituency wish him a complete and quick recovery.
It was also reported that day that the state’s Republican leadership in the General Assembly were utilizing recently released U.S. Census data to further their and others’ claims that the new legislative district maps adopted earlier this year by the supermajority Democrats violates the rights of minority voters in Illinois.
Although a lifelong Democrat, it’s not hard for me to support the Republicans’ assertion that the new maps will dilute the impact of minority voters in the 2022 elections.
Just think, this could have been avoided if Senator Harmon hadn’t allowed a vote for passage of SJRCA004 2019 to wither on the vine in the last legislative session. That bill, co-sponsored by 17 state senate Democrats, would have amended the state constitution by establishing an independent commission to draw the new legislative districts ahead of the 2022 elections. The Republican challenge and the MALDEF lawsuit could also have been avoided had Governor Pritzker followed through with his threat to veto the maps adopted by the Democrats.
This issue should confront both Gov. Pritzker and a healthy Sen. Harmon during their campaigns for re-election next year.
Chris Donovan, Oak Park