Democrats say they will call for a vote during today’s Assembly floor session on a bill that requires a non-partisan agency to draw new legislative district lines every ten years. Currently, lawmakers create those maps, including those created last summer that are currently the focus of multiple court challenges.
State Representative Kelda Roys (D-Madison) says the change will help avoid the partisan fight seen last summer when Republicans created maps that could help them hold on to a majority in both legislative chambers. Roys says the state has seen a picture drawn of a “sinister culture of corruption” because of the current method for redistricting.
The legislation requires the state Government Accountability Board to create new maps based on U.S. Census data collected at the end of each decade. The legislature would then vote on the maps or send them back to the GAB to draft another proposal. The process is similar to one used in Iowa.
The push for a change is not a new one. State Representative Mark Pocan (D-Madison) says similar bills have been proposed over the last decade. All have failed to see any action, even when Democrats controlled the Legislature last session.
Pocan says trying to make the change when redistricting is approaching has proven too difficult. He says now would be the perfect time though, because lawmakers and the public still have the problems seen last summer fresh in their minds.
The bill was introduced last July but has not received a public hearing. The procedural move to call for a vote is not likely to succeed.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:02)