State lawmakers were set to vote Thursday on a plan to hire outside attorneys to help them fight a ruling that struck down the state’s legislative district maps.
The ruling last fall found the maps drawn in 2011 were unconstitutional because of how they reduce the impact of votes cast for Democratic candidates. The court last month also ordered the state to redraw the lines, before the 2018 elections.
The state is expected to appeal the ruling, but Republican leaders who drew the district lines want to hire outside attorneys so they have more of a say in the process.
Both the state Senate and Assembly organization committees were expected to hold voting by paper ballot Thursday afternoon on whether to hire their own representation. A copy of the ballot has not yet been made available.
Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released a statement criticizing majority Republicans for the move. “There is absolutely no reason why taxpayers should hand over another blank check to high-priced Republican attorneys,” she argued. “Republicans have already wasted too much time and taxpayer money trying to justify their unconstitutional election rigging efforts. Rather than throwing more money at high-priced Republican lawyers, we should be investing our scarce taxpayer resources in Wisconsin classrooms, roads and communities.”