Posted by – July 20, 2011
Illinois House and Senate Republican leaders Tom Cross and Christine Radogno have filed suit in U.S. District Court seeking rejection of the legislative redistricting plan approved by Democrats this year.
Radogno, the Senate minority leader, said the suit is meant to “protect the voting rights of all citizens.” House Republican Leader Cross said the map is illegal.
“The Democrats passed a map this session that we believe is in direct violation of the Federal Voting Rights Act and some of our most basic rights under the Constitution,” Cross said.
Democrats have expected the lawsuit, which was mentioned even before the map was approved in May.
The 31-page lawsuit deals with several legal questions about the map and how it will affect voters.
It is well known that the map threw several Republican lawmakers into districts together, forcing them to either move, run against each other or leave office.
Posted by – July 15, 2011
State Sen. Sam McCann, R-Carlinville, plans to run for election in the 50th District after the new legislative maps left him in a greatly altered 49th District.
“The Democrats split my current district down the middle and incorporated areas of Springfield. It’s heart-breaking to have to choose which part of my current district to run in,” McCann said during an announcements in Springfield.
The newly created 50th District includes all or parts of Pike, Calhoun, Greene, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Morgan, Sangamon and Scott counties.
State Sen. Larry Bomke, R-Springfield, was leaning against running for re-election in the 50th District. Bomke told Bernard Schoenberg of the Springfield State Journal-Register that he might run if a different map emerges from a court challenge of the Democrat-drawn plan. Bomke said a challenge should be filed soon.
Democrats had the power to draw new district boundaries due to majorities in both the House and Senate, and Democrat Pat Quinn in the governor’s office. The new House and Senate boundaries were altered throwing several Republicans into districts together — something that only happened to a few Democrats.
U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Colona, has introduced legislation that would bring congressional pension rules more in line with the retirement ages for their constituents.
“At a time when we are looking for ways to reduce spending and lead by example, the Congressional Retirement Age Act achieves both goals,” Schilling said.
Current retirement rules allow members of Congress to retire with a full pension at age 62, but if a member has served for 25 years they can retire with a full pension as early as age 50. Schilling said working Americans have to wait until at least age 65 to be eligible for full Social Security benefits.
The Congressional Budget Office staff indicates that Schilling’s legislation could save between $10 million and $15 million over 10 years.