SPRINGFIELD -- A handful of suburban Republican lawmakers Friday said that they're mostly resigned to the idea the Democrats will do what they want when it comes to redrawing political boundaries this year.
On a weekly conference call, the three Republicans reflected on a week of hearings about redistricting, the process of changing legislative districts because of changes in population.
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Sen. Ron Sandack, a Downers Grove Republican, said the hearings are a good way for residents to have their opinions heard. But in the end, he predicted, Democrats that control Illinois government will draw the boundaries as they please.
"In the end, I don't think it means anything," Sandack said.
The House and Senate both held hearings in the suburbs this week.
"The process is open and ongoing and we encourage anyone interested to show up at the public hearings to provide input," said John Patterson, spokesman for Democratic Senate President John Cullerton.
Rep. Tom Morrison, a Palatine Republican, said people who attended the hearings just want to see a fair, easy-to-understand new map.
"The residents, they want to see districts that are easily identifiable," he said.
New Illinois maps for Congress and the Illinois General Assembly could be done by the end of May. The changes will have a big impact on the suburbs, where the population has grown dramatically in the last ten years.
It's a big political task because the new districts could affect which party is more likely to keep control of legislative seats for the next 10 years.
"It is absolutely ruthless," said Sen. Chris Lauzen, an Aurora Republican.
Democrats drew the map for the Illinois General Assembly in 2001, for example, and the party has controlled the General Assembly since.