A proposal to exclude prison inmates from census data is raising concerns from a state lawmaker.
Supporters of the plan say counting inmates gives extra power to areas that have prisons, and they shouldn't be included when legislative district lines are redrawn. State Representative Dick Spanbauer (R-Oshkosh) says they're still people, and prisoners deserve to be counted like everyone else.
Spanbauer says adding inmates to the local population helps to offset the financial impacts of prisons through grants and other aid.
The numbers also impact how legislative district lines are drawn, which Spanbauer says is the real motivation for the proposal. He accuses state Representative Fred Kessler (D-Milwaukee), the author of the legislation, of playing politics with the census to try and make some district more favorable for Democratic candidates.
Spanbauer's district includes the Waupun prison.
WHBY's Rick Schuh contributed this report.