Wisconsin’s state Senate has approved a Republican bill that would delay local governments’ redistricting efforts by a year or more.
Wisconsin law requires counties to adopt redistricting plans by July 1 and municipalities to adopt theirs within the following 60 days. But the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the 2020 census data until fall, so this bill would give local governments until next spring to adopt new maps.
La Crosse County Republican chair Bill Feehan believes that his party will be shortchanged by local Democrats in the process. On the “Fact Check” podcast, Feehan says Republicans in the county would have been shut out of the next redistricting process, if they hadn’t complained.
“Supervisor Kevin Hoyer, who ran for the 94th Assembly seat last year as a Republican, called (county board chair) Monica Kruse to complain that there wasn’t a single conservative person on this 12-person committee,” said Feehan. “So I think Monica realized that the jig was up.”
Democrats in the state Senate all voted against the remapping delay, claiming it could be unconstitutional.
Feehan says the county’s Democrats drew the last maps to give themselves a deliberate advantage.
“The Town of Hamilton has five wards, and those five wards are divided into five separate county board districts,” he says. “So if you are in the town of Hamilton and you want to talk to your county supervisor, you actually have to talk to five different people.”
to open up his seat.
La Crosse County leaders already decided to keep the current district lines for the county elections next April.