The Illinois Senate Executive committee, which typically reviews the most important and most controversial legislation, now has a new ranking Republican member, as State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) has been elevated to the top spot for his caucus.
“It’s an honor to serve in a lead role on the committee that is tasked with reviewing some of the most important legislation that moves through the Senate,” said Barickman. “I look forward to being able to serve as a watchdog for the people of Illinois, by ensuring that important legislation gets a fair and thorough hearing.”
Senator Barickman, who serves in caucus leadership as the Senate Republican Caucus Chair (as well as the floor leader during debates), will also be taking on the lead Republican role for the Redistricting Committee. Every 10 years the Illinois General Assembly is tasked with taking data from the recent census and using it to redraw legislative and congressional districts, to make sure that citizens are equally represented.
Historically, Illinois has a rough reputation for redistricting, often cited as an example of “gerrymandering” where districts have been drawn for the political benefit of one political party. Politically biased redistricting also tends to create situations where there is often little competition or choice for voters, because many districts end up being drawn with overwhelming majorities for one party, which can lead to candidates repeatedly running unopposed.
“Lawmakers shouldn’t be able to draw their own maps and pick their voters. It should be the people who are able to decide who their elected officials are,” said Barickman. “I am absolutely committed to doing whatever I can to make sure that citizens are given the most fair map possible, so that they can be best represented in their state and federal governments.
Barickman will also be serving on the Assignments, Energy & Public Utilities, Judiciary, and Labor Committees.