Bill Text: IL SB0910 | 2017-2018 | 100th General Assembly | Veto Message

Bill Title: Amends the Counties Code. Provides that when a county board creates or modifies the apportionment of districts in the county, each district shall also (i) provide racial minorities or language minorities with equal opportunity to participate in the political process and elect candidates of their choice; (ii) provide racial minorities or language minorities who constitute less than a voting-age majority of a district with an opportunity to substantially influence the outcome of an election; and (iii) shall not discriminate against or in favor of any political party or individual.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 6-0)

Status: (Failed) 2017-11-08 - Total Veto Stands [SB0910 Detail]

Download: Illinois-2017-SB0910-Veto_Message.html

August 25, 2017

To the Honorable Members of

The Illinois Senate,

100th General Assembly:

Today, I veto Senate Bill 910, which adds new county board redistricting requirements based on minority status.

Minority communities always have been a vibrant part of Illinois’ cultural and political fabric and one that this Administration has supported and embraced. Minority voting rights already are strongly protected by the U.S. Constitution, the federal Voting Rights Act, and the Illinois Constitution. Those guarantees provide a comprehensive framework for ensuring that each citizen’s right to be heard in an election is protected.

Senate Bill 910 does not provide the careful, thoughtful treatment this subject deserves. Instead, it provides a shorthanded attempt at codification of detailed constitutional and federal law requirements that likely is to create additional confusion in an already complex area. That attempt is likely to provide little additional, practical protection while adding another layer of law to complicate government. For instance, Senate Bill 910 provides the unenforceable and confusing directive that “[t]o the extent practicable,” county board districts “shall” be drawn to form certain types of districts. A county board facing this requirement will be hard-pressed to determine what it is required of it or to protect itself from challenges.

Rather than add additional regulatory burdens to local government, the General Assembly should focus on comprehensive reform of the redistricting process. As it currently exists statewide, redistricting is an exercise in political power that ignores the local control that it is supposed to guarantee. Rather than address a single aspect of local-level redistricting, the General Assembly should adopt a comprehensive redistricting process that prevents legislators from redistricting for their personal benefit at the expense of voters.

Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return Senate Bill 910, entitled “AN ACT concerning local government,” with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.


Bruce Rauner