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Republican lawmakers release redistricting plans, recalls likely factor in speed


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The Republican version of Wisconsin’s new state legislative districts was released Friday afternoon.

Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and his brother, Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald, are giving folks 11 days to review the maps before they vote to approve them on July 19th.

This is the first time since the 1950’s that Republicans control both houses and the governor’s office during the redistricting process.

While legislative Democrats cannot stop the GOP’s maps from being approved, others are going to court to stop them.

Former Democratic Senate leader Judy Robson of Beloit and 13 others want a three-judge federal panel to step in and draw non-partisan Assembly and Senate boundaries – just like they had to do for the last three decades.

The process is being handled a few months earlier than normal. Critics say the GOP is trying to ram through their new maps before the recall elections – when it’s possible that Democrats could regain the majority in the Senate.

The party in power can stack the new districts to include as many of their voters as possible, to try-and-control the Legislature for up to 10 years until the next redistricting. In a statement, the Fitzgeralds said they’ve fulfilled their constitutional requirement to re-draw district lines according to population changes in each 10-year Census.

The GOP’s congressional boundaries were also released. As expected, central Wisconsin’s previous “community of interest” was split up in what critics say is an attempt to keep freshman Republican Sean Duffy of Ashland in office.

Of the four major cities in central Wisconsin, only Marshfield and Wausau would remain in Duffy’s district. Stevens Point – the most Democratic city in the region – would move to House Democrat Ron Kind’s district in western Wisconsin, along with Wiscon