Senator Hansen wants to change redistricting with new bill

Published 12/07 2012 05:31PM

Updated 12/07 2012 09:00PM

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV)-- Democratic State Senator Dave Hansen wants to change the way legislative districts are done.

Hansen wants the process taken out of the hands of lawmakers and have the non-partisan Legislative Reference Bureau do it instead .

"The goal with re-districting should always be 50/50 districts and as closest to that as we should get and if someone independently draws it we got a better opportunity where the races aren't set up so that one part or another is going to be favored," said Hansen.


The boundaries are re-drawn every 10 years. The latest maps were drawn by g-o-p lawmakers and passed by the g-o-p controlled legislature without input from democrats. Redistricting is credited for helping Republicans retain control of the Assembly by a large margin, 60-39.


"In those races there were 200,000 votes cast for more democrats, 60-39 does not reflect the fact that we are a blue, red, purple state, so what we would hope to do rather than have a partisan drawing like they had this time," said Hansen.


Hansen has not gotten the support of any Republicans at this time. Senator Robert Cowles, R-Allouez, said it's not something he's opposed to, but doesn't believe now is the time.


"In my case, I lost Oconto county, where I spent a lot of time in Oconto Falls, Suring, and surrounding townships, getting to know many people here," said Cowles, "Did I want to lose 10% of my district, No."


Cowles thinks it's too soon, and that concentration should be put on passing a budget and a mining bill.


"I'm not saying it's a bad idea, but having just gone through it i don't see it being brought up nor would I be pushing for it to be brought up right now," said Cowles .


Hansen argues that it should be done now, because most of the legislators won't be in office in 2020. He plans to introduce the bill when session begins in January.



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