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Senators Introduce Nonpartisan Redistricting Plan



Three state senators have introduced legislation that would revamp Wisconsin's redistricting process.

The bill -- introduced by Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), Senator Tim Cullen (D-Janesville), and Senator Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) -- is based on the legislative redistricting model used in Iowa; it would remove the process from partisan hands and place the responsibility with the nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau.

Hansen says changing the redistricting process is about "doing the right thing."

Hansen says the way the boundary lines were drawn when the GOP was in power resulted in a 60-39 Republican advantage in the Assembly even though in those districts the Democrats received 200,000 more votes.

"Heck, we elected a Democratic President in this state by about the same amount and a U.S. Senator, Tammy Baldwin," says Hansen.  "So we're not red like it's portrayed because of gerrymandering."

The measure would also create a bipartisan Redistricting Advisory Commission which would be required to release the bill to the public as soon as feasible after it is finished being drafted by the LRB and sent to the Legislature. The Commission would also be required to hold at least three public hearings on the bill -- only one of which could be held in Madison. One hearing would also have to be held in the northern part of the state.

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