Gov. Pat Quinn set the foundation for state legislative elections during the next decade, signing a bill Friday that redraws the state's legislative districts to keep the Republican minority out of power.
Democrats were in charge of the once-a-decade redistricting process, which is based on the latest census, because they control the Legislature and the governor's office.
The maps put a third of GOP House members in hostile districts and grouped some sitting Senate lawmakers into the same district, including Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont). She was grouped with freshman Sen. Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove).
House Republican leader Tom Cross said it's a matter of time before the state redistricting fight ends up in court.
"It will be challenged on some constitutional grounds," Cross said, as for example, not having enough Latino districts.
One key Latino advocacy group objected to the map before its passage.
"We are extremely, extremely disappointed," said Elisa Alfonso, the Midwest redistricting coordinator for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF.
The group, which has complained the map fractures some Latino communities and weakens Latino voting strength, wouldn't say Friday whether it would take its grievances to court.
Quinn, who said throughout the map-making process that the redrawing of political boundaries had to be fair, released a one paragraph statement announcing the signing.
"Ensuring that everyone's voice is heard in government is crucial to our democracy. For the first time, the people of Illinois have been able to participate in public hearings and have their voices heard in drawing their legislative districts," Quinn said. "I would like to commend lawmakers for significantly increasing openness and transparency in the remap process."