by Benjamin Yount
The latest version of Wisconsin’s new political map will not become law if Gov. Tony Evers has anything to do with it.
The governor on Thursday told Republican lawmakers that he will not sign the map they unveiled on Wednesday.
“If Republicans want to get serious about passing maps I can sign, they need to do a heck of a lot more listening to the people of this state,” Evers said in a statement.
The governor claims the Republican-drawn map is “gerrymandered,” but didn’t offer any specific suggestions of the changes he’d like to see.
Evers did say that he wants lawmakers to stop their mapmaking process and wait for his People’s Map Commission to finish its work.
The preliminary maps from the Commission would still leave Republicans with overwhelming majorities in both the State Assembly and State Senate. The Commission maps would provide Democrats with a majority in one extra Congressional district, but it would be a slim majority.
“Republicans will have to do better than this if they expect me to sign either of these bills – they need to go back to the drawing board,” Evers said.
He accused Republican lawmakers of trying to “pre-determine our elections.”
Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, this week said the Republican-drawn map includes input from lawmakers, citizens, and the governor’s Map Commission.
“The public has had an unprecedented level of input and influence over the map-drawing efforts. We encouraged Wisconsinites to play an active role in the process, and their participation has fundamentally shaped the way the maps were drawn,” LeMahieu said. “During the upcoming public hearing and committee process, we will work to ensure the final maps meet every legal and constitutional redistricting requirement.”
If the governor and lawmakers cannot agree on a new map, then a court will likely decide on the state’s new political boundaries. Though it remains to be seen if that will be the Wisconsin Supreme Court or the federal court.
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