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Peoria Mayor Ali Praises New State Senate District Bringing Peoria, Bloomington-Normal Together

Peoria Mayor Rita Ali said Wednesday that Bloomington-Normal and Peoria being drawn into the same State Senate district in the Illinois redistricting maps proposed by Democrats would be good for both areas.

The new map puts most of Peoria and Bloomington-Normal into the same State Senate district. The 46th District is currently held by Sen. Dave Koehler, D-Peoria.

In testimony before a joint session of the House and Senate Redistricting Committees, Ali said it was important cities with similar characteristics and similar needs were grouped together.

"There's a lot of synergy between these two cities," said Ali.

She said Peoria and Bloomington-Normal have fairly similar demographics in terms of gender and age, as well as both being college cities.

"These are two urban areas that work well together," said Ali. "I think grouping them together within one district will be good for us in terms of attracting, addressing the needs and attracting resources to both areas."

House Deputy Republican Leader Rep. Top Demmer, R-Dixon, asked for information on the demographics of the new 46th District. While Ali said she'd received that information, she was not able to say during the hearing who she'd received it from, telling the committee she would provide that information later.

Ali's testimony comes amid a series of hearings being held after Democrats released proposed maps for new State Senate, House, and Supreme Court districts over the past week.

The new House districts would mean Rep. Keith Sommer, R-Morton, of the 88th District, and Rep. Mark Luft, R-Pekin, of the 91st District, would potentially have to face each other for the seat in the new 87th District.

It's anticipated Democrats will complete the process before the constitutional deadline of June 30.

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