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Freshman Democrats pushing for non-partisan agency to handle future redistricting

by
State Representative Mandy Wright (D) Wausau.
State Representative Mandy Wright (D) Wausau.

MADISON, WI (WXPR) -  Several freshmen Democrats are hoping to change a long standing and always controversial tradition: how Wisconsin's political boundaries are drawn every 10 years.

Representative Mandy Wright from Wausau says the current law allowing the majority party in the Assembly and state Senate to redraw the political boundaries every ten years is flawed. “We would like to stop the finger pointing and stop the color game, and make sure that redistricting is handed over to a non-partisan agency that can objectively draw the district lines.”

Wright says the non-partisan Legislative Reference Bureau would be a good candidate to put the board together.

Iowa established more than three decades ago a non-partisan body to redraw the political lines. Wright says the Iowa model will help to reduce political bickering and save money. “To date, we have spent two million taxpayer dollars on redistricting, on the redistricting session that most recently happened. The bill that we’re proposing in Iowa cost the state approximately one thousand dollars.”

Wright says the likely outcome would be a voting district which more closely reflects the population. She says it's likely to lead to less bickering between the parties. She says the bill has some support in the state Senate, but less support in the Assembly.

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