Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Back to the Future | State Sen. Chris Lauzen Proposes Change to Balance of Power in Illinois House

State Sen. Chris Lauzen is proposing a change to the Illinois constitution that would restore multi-member legislative districts for state representatives. Currently, there are 118 state representatives for 118 districts. Instead, there would be 117 members from 39 districts with every district having three members.

Illinois government had this system until 1982 when a guy named Pat Quinn, who is now the temp Governor of Illinois, pushed an effort to reduce the number of legislators, which many say caused the consolidation of power for legislative leaders that has led to corruption and "who you know" politics to thrive in Illinois.

Quinn's appointed Illinois Reform Commission is recommending term limits for legislative leaders and a fair redistricting process to address part of the situation that Quinn helped to create.

The previous system had "cumulative voting" and it created situations where almost every House district had members from both political parties. Voters woud have options of casting three votes for one candidate, split for two candidates or a vote each for three candidates.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has also taken advantage of the consolidated power. Because so many districts are part of the City of Chicago and many of those representatives are under his control, he is able to influence much more control over who the legislative leaders are and how the system works (or doesn't).

Many say reducing the number of districts, but spreading the representation would create better balance of power.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I see the openlines propaganda machine is at it again. Gov. Quinn is not the "temp" governor, he is the Governor. The infantile propaganda techniques that openline uses are rather pathetic but I guess they go over well with the ditto head crowd that populates most of this blog.

Anonymous said...

Hey Breaking News, I heard through the grapevine that Alex Arroyo is not resigning from his position as chairman of the Aurora Democrats. He made a public statement to the Beacon that he was and he announced that he was at a meeting. But alas, it seems his handlers have told him he has to stay. Word is that they weren't sure they could get another one of their click elected so Alex has to stay on. What really irked my source on this was how the rank and file Dems just rolled over. I guess Cook County has Todd Stroger and Aurora has Alex Arroyo.

Anonymous said...

I am for having a more granular form of representation. More reps with less pensions and health care to encourage turnover not career development.

Anonymous said...

I think Governor Pat Quinn was sorry he caused this problem and he may not oppose this change. He has learned a lot in 27 years.

Dan Hites said...

I believe one of the best ways to reform politics is to have under every office on the ballot a vote for none-of-the-above. If NOTA wins the candidates that ran for that office would not be able to run for that position until the next term and an election would have to be held with different candidates.

Anonymous said...

So this will be a great test for Lauzen. Can he actually steer a bill through and work with people and get this done? I think not. I would like to be wrong but this is a great test for Chris. I think he would be a horrible Congressman because of his inability to work with others, but I am willing to be proven wrong. So let this be his test. After all his years in the Senate let us see how much clout he has accumulated.

Leonard said...

If it is true that the very same system now proposed by Chris was in place until 1982 and that system was found not to work; please tell me why anyone would propose going back to that old system?

Anonymous said...

Arroyo is one of the most contemptible human beings around. His word is worthless.

Anonymous said...

Arroyo is a lying little pansy