October 23, 2014

Hearing urged for redistricting reform

State Senator Tim Cullen has authored a bill to reform the redistricting process in Wisconsin. The measure was introduced in April but so far has not been scheduled for a public hearing.

Cullen (D-Janesville), Senator Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) were joined Tuesday at the Capitol by Common Cause co-chair Bill Kraus and board member Dave Martin, a former state legislator.

Surrounded by maps of congressional and legislative district boundaries drawn by Democratic lawmakers in Illinois, Republican lawmakers in Madison, and a non-partisan state agency in Iowa, they urged a public hearing on the legislation.

“I don’t see how any legislative leader can look at these maps and not say this issues doesn’t at least deserve a public hearing,” said Cullen.

“Reapportionment is expensive right now, almost two millions dollars, and it creates an enormous problem for our colleagues in local government,” said Schultz. Schultz also suggested that adopting reforms on the Iowa model could decrease partisanship in the legislature.

The bill (SB 163) is currently in the Senate Committee on Elections and Urban Affairs, chaired by Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin).