Senators to Vote on Two Controversial Bills Today

7/19/11 – Wisconsin senators will vote today on one bill to help the long-term unemployed – and another bill that critics say is designed to keep Republicans in power for awhile. The Republican-controlled Senate is scheduled to vote on the controversial plan to create new state-and-congressional districts. The G-O-P said it properly drew the new maps in its obligation to reflect population changes from the new Census. But Democrats said the G-O-P unfairly drew the lines to try and give themselves an advantage at the polls for up to a decade. The unemployment bill would provide 13 more weeks of benefits to thousands of long-term jobless residents. Those people were cut off in April, and the federal government has made 89-million stimulus dollars available in extended benefits. They would be given retroactively. The Assembly is expected tomorrow to act on both the unemployment and the redistricting bills.