Madison...Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) introduced the new maps for Congressional, Assembly and Senate districts. (Senate Bill 621/Senate Bill 622) as part of the redistricting process in Wisconsin. The bill drafts, interactive maps, and legal analysis can be found here.
Every ten years, the U.S. Census Bureau publishes updated information reflecting changes in the population since the previous census. This information is used by states to redraw local, legislative, and congressional districts so that each district has approximately the same number of people.
The Wisconsin State Legislature, according to their constitutional and statutory duty, has undertaken this task with requests for additional input from numerous public advocacy groups, including the ‘People’s Maps Commission’, and Wisconsinites from across the state. The new district maps introduced today are the next step towards crafting final districts which meet every criteria required by state law, the U.S. Supreme Court, Wisconsin Supreme Court, and the Constitutions of the United States of America and the State of Wisconsin.
“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,” said Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu. “During the upcoming public hearing and committee process, we will work to ensure the final maps meet every legal and constitutional redistricting requirement.”
This is the first time in state history the public has been able to submit maps directly to the Legislature for consideration. This new opportunity gave any Wisconsin resident the ability to draw their own statewide map, regional plan, or community of interest (COI) through the DrawYourDistrictWisconsin.com website.
“The people of Wisconsin want transparency, they want checks and balances, and they want cooperation in how their districts are drawn,” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said. “The Legislature took into account plans submitted from citizens all over the state and considered submissions from the governor’s People’s Maps Commission, so we are confident these maps are fair for all Wisconsinites.”
The new district maps took into consideration hundreds of COI submitted through the Legislature’s website and publicly submitted through the ‘People’s Map Commission.’
With the introduction of the maps as legislation, Wisconsinites will now have the opportunity to thoroughly review and give comment on congressional districts, state senate districts, and state assembly districts as part of the public hearing process. That additional input will continue the open, transparent process as bills move through the Legislature.
The Legislature made it very clear through Senate Joint Resolution 63 that the criteria used to create maps are consistent with the traditional and legal frameworks that guide redistricting. The transparent efforts to engage the public and enshrine our intent through an official action of the Legislature is designed to give everyone in Wisconsin confidence in the process and additional opportunity for unprecedented public input.
For further information on the history of redistricting in Wisconsin, the non-partisan Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) published an in-depth guide explaining the law, principles, and process.