skip to main content

Thursday, June 1, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

Alabamans urge a grocery tax reduction, a tape shows Trump knew about a classified document on Iran, Pennsylvania puts federal road funds to work and Minnesota's marijuana law will wipe away minor offenses.

play newscast audioPlay

Democrats say a wealth tax would help alleviate some national debt, lawmakers aim to continue pandemic-era funding for America's child care sector, and teachers say firearms at school will make students less safe.

play newscast audioPlay

Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

WI Supreme Court Kicks off Final Stage of Redistricting

play audio
Play

Thursday, January 20, 2022   

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is expected to issue a final decision on the state's redistricting process in the coming weeks. The court's seven justices heard oral arguments in the case Wednesday, when several parties offered differing views on how the state should handle the once-every-decade process of redrawing voting maps.

Tamara Packard, attorney for Senate Democrats, said a proposal put forward by legislative Republicans unfairly favors GOP candidates.

"The Legislature's map represents the partisan policy choices of Republican legislators, and it does not adhere to 'least change', so it should not be chosen by the court," Packard argued.

In November, the justices said they would take a 'least-change' approach to redistricting, a move which will keep Wisconsin's current voting lines, drafted and approved by Republicans in 2011, largely the same.

Republican lawmakers stated their new maps fall well within legal boundaries, and only take into account population shifts, with no attention to partisan composition of the proposed districts.

Taylor Meehan, attorney for legislative Republicans, said in addition to other factors, new voting districts should meet certain population guidelines.

"Of the least-changes plans submitted here, only the Legislature's plan can be described to meet that constitutional standard," Meehan contended.

The court has received proposed maps from numerous parties, including legislative Republicans, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and a coalition of voting-rights nonprofits.

The parties also are split on the number of minority opportunity districts the city of Milwaukee should have; districts in which a majority of residents are a certain ethnicity, in this case Black or Hispanic. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Milwaukee currently has six such districts.

Doug Poland, attorney for the nonprofit voting groups, stressed there should be seven in the new maps.

"Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act requires the drawing of an additional seventh Black opportunity district in the Milwaukee area to remedy vote dilution present in the current plan," Poland emphasized.

The Wisconsin Fair Maps Coalition will hold a statewide series of rallies Friday to pressure the court to drop its least-change redistricting plan.


get more stories like this via email
A new park, San Vicente Redwoods, opened up late last year near Santa Cruz, Calif., in an area previously ravaged by fire and logging. (Nadia Hamey)

Environment

play sound

This Saturday, June 3, thousands of Californians will be among hundreds of thousands of Americans heading into the great outdoors to celebrate …


Social Issues

play sound

A coalition of Wisconsin groups is asking Gov. Tony Evers to reject bills it contends would make it harder for people struggling to get by to bounce …

Social Issues

play sound

Two months from today, Minnesota will begin the process of removing low-level marijuana convictions for those who have them on their criminal records…


Alabama is one of only three states still applying its full state sales tax on the purchase of groceries and food items. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Groups working to fight poverty in Alabama are urging state senators to approve a bill aimed at lowering food costs for families. House Bill 479 …

Social Issues

play sound

Navigating college can seem overwhelming for first generation students, but an early outreach program at Arizona State University aims to change it…

Nebraska was one of 10 states to further restrict abortion access in the 2023 legislative session. At least 48 bills were passed involving restrictions for LGBTQ+ individuals. (Yurii Kibalnik/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

A new Nebraska law is now the subject of a lawsuit filed in the District Court of Lancaster County. In its amended form, Legislative Bill 574 …

Social Issues

play sound

A proposal from the federal government could provide a better path toward student loan debt repayment, but a new survey finds many borrowers don't …

Environment

play sound

Maine lawmakers are considering two pieces of legislation which supporters said are needed to ensure "responsible" development of offshore wind projec…

 

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