Senate Committee Endorses New Legislative Maps

7/16/11 – A Wisconsin Senate committee voted 3-to-2 Friday to recommend the new state legislative and congressional district boundaries drafted by majority Republicans. The panel did not make any changes to the eight proposed congressional districts. They did modify a couple of state Assembly districts in Milwaukee, to change the percentage of Hispanic residents in each one. Also, the committee approved new legal language so cities and counties that have already drawn their new districts won’t have to change them to fit the state’s boundaries. Democrats again called the new maps an unconstitutional “power grab” by the G-O-P. Republicans have been accused of rigging the new district lines to fill up as many districts as possible with their own voters, with the goal of staying in power for the whole decade. But Republican leaders say the maps are constitutional, and one of their attorneys brought in a Marquette law professor to testify as such at a public hearing this week. The new redistricting plans now go to the state Senate on Tuesday, and the Assembly on Wednesday.