skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Conservationists tout Indiana's old mines and brownfields to develop renewable energy; Louisiana becomes 1st state to require the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools; Black Hills Visitor Center under new joint tribal, federal oversight; Judge set to rule on massive MT logging project.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Former President Donald Trump says he loves Milwaukee, civil rights groups reject designated protest zones for the RNC convention and a New York Equal Rights Amendment is restored to the November ballot.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town, prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands and a Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival.

Another Push to Redraw Wisconsin’s Political Boundaries

play audio
Play

Monday, January 23, 2017   

MADISON, Wis. – In November, a federal three-judge panel ruled that Wisconsin's political boundaries are unconstitutionally gerrymandered to give an unfair advantage to incumbent politicians.

Reform legislation will be introduced in the current legislative session to take the job of drawing political boundaries out of the hands of partisan politicians, and give it to a nonpartisan panel.

Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause in Wisconsin, says Wisconsin elections are no longer competitive, and points to the state's congressional seats in Washington as an example.

"We have eight and all of them are safe for either the Republicans or the Democrats that occupy those eight seats, and in the Wisconsin Legislature, only 10 of 99 Assembly seats and only three of 33 state Senate seats are remotely competitive," he states.

Heck says this results in a situation where the state's elected representatives aren't truly accountable to the people. He maintains the gerrymandered districts have essentially insured that the person who holds the seat won't lose it in the next election.

According to Heck, the legislation that will be introduced will be patterned after the system for drawing political boundaries set up in 1980 in Iowa. He says the Iowa system for drawing political boundaries works well for a number of reasons.

"They do not consult the legislative leaders, they don't consult any legislators and they have a strict set of criteria that they have to follow in drawing the lines, and amongst them are keeping communities together, keeping counties together if they can," he explains.

In Wisconsin, there are small communities that are split into different political districts because the lines are drawn based on voting tendencies.

Heck says the overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites do not want to see self-centered politicians controlling the redistricting process that will come after the next census in 2020. He says now is the time to pass a law similar to the one in Iowa.

"If voters want to have a choice and if they want to get legislators and members of Congress more responsive, and members of the Legislature and Congress who actually listen to them, they have to demand that there be competitive elections," he states.





get more stories like this via email

more stories
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reported power plant pollution exacerbates asthma, creates new asthma cases, causes heart attacks and is the largest airborne emission of mercury. (TomKonrad/Wikimedia Commons)

play sound

Danskammer Energy is no longer seeking an expansion of its Newburgh plant. The original plan called for expanding the company's "peaker plant" meant …


Social Issues

play sound

The Black Hills National Forest is one of the latest federal lands to enter a co-stewardship agreement with local tribal nations-a management model en…

Social Issues

play sound

It is the first day of summer and time for a global event called the "World's Largest Swimming Lesson." Albuquerque's West Mesa Aquatic Center will o…


To participate in Mississippi's work-release program, individuals must be within two years of their release date and have not had disciplinary action within the last 12 months. (Tjshot/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Mississippi's pilot work-release program for incarcerated individuals has been extended to three years. The program allows qualified participants to …

Health and Wellness

play sound

Clinica Family Health and Mental Health Partners have announced plans to merge operations by September of this year. Mental Health Partners co-CEO …

A report by The Nature Conservancy says if clean energy continues to be sited the way it always has been, the U.S. will need an area the size of Texas to meet its climate targets. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Today is the summer solstice, the day of the year with the most sunshine, and Indiana conservationists said they have a plan to make the best use of …

Social Issues

play sound

School children in Arkansas are learning how to grow their own fruits and vegetables through the Farm to School and Early Childhood Education program …

Environment

play sound

A Michigan nonprofit dedicated to keeping oil out of the Great Lakes is celebrating a major victory. A federal Appellate Court has ruled that …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021