Wisconsin Senate approves political maps drawn up by GOPs

Wisconsin Senate approves political maps drawn up by GOPs

What You Need To Know

Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate did put the versions drawn by the nonpartisan People’s Maps Commission to a vote, but ultimately those boundaries were rejected.

The amendment offered by Republicans to use the boundaries drawn by the commission created by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers was rejected on a bipartisan supermajority vote.

“So right now, Democrats have the opportunity to save their nonpartisan maps,” Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, told lawmakers during a floor speech ahead of the vote.

Story Highlights

  • The final vote on the bills was 21-12 along party lines.

  • The Wisconsin Senate passed Republican-drawn legislative and congressional maps Monday by a 21-12 party-line vote
    Democrats offered two amendments that would have made changes to the Republican maps, but both proposals failed
    Republicans offered an amendment that included maps drawn by Gov. Evers’ nonpartisan People’s Maps Commission, which was also rejected by all Republicans and Democrat State Sen. Lena Taylor of Milwaukee
    The Assembly plans to vote on the maps Thursday, and, if passed, they will go to Gov. Evers who has previously vowed to veto them

“You all have gone so far as to offer up an amendment for us to consider that you voted against,” State Sen. Melissa Agard, D-Madison, said after the vote. “It’s that much of a game for you.”

State Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, reads over notes on the Senate floor.

State Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, joined all Senate Republicans in voting against two amendments by her party that would have made changes to the Republican maps, as well as the amendment to use the versions drawn by the People’s Maps Commission. “People of color have been taken advantage of in redistricting by packing by Republicans and cracking by Democrats,” Taylor said. “And today, I’m not supporting any of these maps, but a process different than yours is necessary.”

LeMahieu also criticized Democrats for putting forth changes that didn’t include what the governor’s nonpartisan commission proposed. Republican Senate Majority Leader LeMahieu listens to floor speeches by Democrats.

“The Democrats are so embarrassed by the governor’s maps that they have drawn and introduced their own maps for consideration,” LeMahieu said. “When the rubber meets the road, not even the Democrats support the nonpartisan redistricting.” Democrats fired back at Republicans for the criteria they used to draw their version of political boundaries and argued they those political lines will only solidify what they feel are current gerrymandered maps.

Democrats also pointed to a lack of support for the Republican-drawn boundaries during a public hearing held last month during which LeMahieu and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos testified. “Who showed up in favor of it,” State Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, asked. “Two politicians. Let me just check to see if there was anyone else I’m missing who showed up in favor. Oh sorry, registrations for: none.”

Minority Leader Janet Bewley, D-Mason, expresses opposition to GOP-drawn maps. “The Republican maps we are taking up today would lock in a partisan advantage they created in 2011 when they passed the most gerrymandered maps in the nation,” Minority Leader Janet Bewley, D-Mason, said. “It isn’t a fair map.”