A proposed constitutional amendment at the Capitol would change how legislative districts are drawn in Wisconsin.
The measure requires a bi-partisan panel to draw up legislative districts based on how areas voted in recent presidential and gubernatorial elections. State Representative Fred Kessler (D-Milwaukee), is a co-sponsor, says the method would create more competitive races statewide, when compared to the current system that's run by lawmakers.
Under the amendment, new districts would still lean towards the prominent party in that area. However, Kessler says they would be set up to keep Democrats or Republicans from having too strong of an advantage. The amendment requires that the Assembly and Senate each have their districts set up so that no party could easily control both.
State Rep. Spencer Black (D-Madison), the other co-sponsor, says it would improve on the current partisan process, which often ends up in the courts anyway. Black says politicians draw the lines with the idea of getting re-elected. He says that system takes longer and is more expensive than their proposal.
Wisconsin re-draws legislative districts every 10 years. Under the amendment, a non-partisan legislative bureau would propose new districts, then a panel made up of state constitutional officers and a Supreme Court designee would determine which new map to use.