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Cutting Evers out of redistricting latest fear from Democrats

Mitch Reynolds

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A shroud of secrecy right now over how Republican majority lawmakers in Madison are scheming to limit the power of Democratic Governor-elect Tony Evers.

Among the fears from Democrats is that GOP lawmakers will figure out how to squeeze Evers out of the all-important redistricting process by which Republicans keep a stranglehold on the legislature’s majorities.

But that concern might be overblown just a bit, say Jay Heck from Common Cause in Wisconsin.

“I don’t know how Constitutionally they can do anything to reduce his power with regard to redistricting,” Heck said. “That would take statute change, which the he governor can veto and would likely require a Constitutional Amendment, which requires it to be passed in two consecutive sessions of the legislature.”

The redistricting process, completed every 10 years after a new census, was controlled by Republicans in 2011.

“The governor of Wisconsin has always had a role in the redistricting process,” Heck said. “He’s always had the ability to veto any maps that come out of the legislature.”

There’s also concerns Evers might lose authority to enact state agency regulations or make changes to how Voter ID rules are implemented. Specifics of the Republican lame duck session are being kept secret until the session begins next week.

It could also involve Republicans removing authority for things like making it more difficult for the governor to block a work requirement for Medicaid recipients.