Wisconsin Republicans make last-ditch effort to pass new legislative maps

Jan 23, 2024, 2:24 PM

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Republicans made a last-ditch effort Tuesday to avoid having the liberal-controlled state Supreme Court put in place new legislative district boundaries for the November election.

Republican senators introduced new Senate and Assembly maps on the floor of the Senate, not giving the public or Democrats a chance to review them ahead of their release. Democrats said before the maps were unveiled that they suspected it was an attempt by Republicans to protect their majorities that sit at 22-11 in the Senate and 64-35 in the Assembly.

The Senate was set to vote on approving the maps later Tuesday, which would then send them to the Assembly.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court last month tossed the current Republican-drawn district boundaries as unconstitutional and ordered new maps. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, Republicans, Democrats and others submitted maps that two consultants hired by the court are now reviewing. Their recommendation is due Feb. 1, and the court is expected to release new maps shortly after.

But the court said it would defer to the Legislature if it could pass maps that Evers would sign into law.

Evers and Democrats appeared unlikely to back the new Republican maps released Tuesday.

“This is about one thing: Republicans desperately trying to retain power,” Evers’ spokesperson Britt Cudaback posted before the maps were released. “Full stop.”

Cudaback said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that any maps that differ from the maps as Evers submitted them to the Supreme Court “aren’t the governor’s maps. Period.”

The Senate went into a break for Democratic senators to review the maps before voting on them. The vote was expected Tuesday afternoon or evening.

“It’s another Republican gerrymander,” Democratic Senate Minority Leader Dianne Hesselbein said before the maps were released. “Republicans are scared. This is their last-ditch, disingenuous attempt to hold on to power.”

Republican senators did not describe the contents of their plan before the Senate broke for a closed-door Democratic caucus.

All maps under consideration by the Wisconsin Supreme Court are expected to shrink Republican majorities.

Under the Evers map, Republicans would have a seven-seat majority in the Assembly, down from 29 seats now, and just a one-seat edge in the Senate, based on an analysis by Marquette University Law School research fellow John D. Johnson. His analysis used a statistical model to predict the results of the 2022 state legislative election had they taken place in the newly proposed districts.

This isn’t the first time Republicans have tried to take control of redistricting. In September, three months before the court ordered new maps, the Assembly passed a sweeping plan that takes the power of drawing maps out of the hands of lawmakers and gives it to nonpartisan staff.

But Evers rejected the plan, calling it “bogus,” even though it largely resembled a nonpartisan redistricting plan he’s pushed for years.

It was that bill that Senate Republicans proposed amending before passing it Tuesday. It was proposed just hours before Evers was to deliver his State of the State address.

United States News

Associated Press

Strong winds, steep terrain hamper crews battling Los Angeles area’s first major fire of the year

GORMAN, Calif. (AP) — Strong winds pushed flames through dry brush in mountains along Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles on Sunday, and officials warned residents in the wildfire’s path to be prepared to leave if it explodes in size again. Los Angeles County’s first major wildfire of the year swiftly grew to nearly 23 […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Woman holding large knife at Denver intersection shot and killed by police, chief says

DENVER (AP) — Officers shot and killed a woman who was holding a large, hunting-style knife at an intersection in downtown Denver on Sunday, police said. Officers used a Taser on the woman twice but she began advancing toward them as they tried to back up from her, Denver police Chief Ron Thomas said a […]

10 hours ago

Associated Press

2 killed when vintage plane crashes during Father’s Day event at Southern California airfield

CHINO, Calif. (AP) — Two people were killed aboard a vintage plane that crashed and burst into flames near a Southern California airfield during a weekend Father’s Day event hosted by an air museum, authorities said Sunday. The Federal Aviation Administration said the twin-engine Lockheed 12A crashed shortly after 12:30 p.m. Saturday, just west of […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

2 people seriously injured after small plane crashes near interstate south of Denver

LARKSPUR, Colo. (AP) — Two people were hospitalized with serious injuries after their small plane crashed near Interstate 25 in Colorado on Sunday, officials said. The plane crashed in a field just off I-25 near Larkspur, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Denver, after it apparently hit a sign on the highway, causing it […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

Kansas lawmaker’s law license suspended over conflicts of interest in murder case

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Republican Kansas lawmaker who already dropped his re-election campaign last month after he was arrested in a traffic stop has now been barred from practicing law for at least a year for mishandling conflicts of interest in a murder case. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that state Rep. Carl Maughan […]

15 hours ago

Associated Press

Police identify Michigan splash pad shooter but there’s still no word on a motive

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Authorities on Sunday identified the man who opened fire at a splash pad in suburban Detroit before taking his own life, but his motives remained unknown as investigators worked to determine if he left behind any hint of his plans. Oakland County Sheriff’s spokesperson Stephen Huber said the shooter was […]

19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Wisconsin Republicans make last-ditch effort to pass new legislative maps