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NBC News reports rooftop where gunman shot at Trump was identified as a security vulnerability; Judge Cannon dismisses classified documents case against Trump; UTA professors refuse to comply with Title IX of abortion law; smaller ranchers voice concerns about USDA electronic tag mandates.

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Former President Trump is injured but safe after an attempted assassination many condemn political violence. Democrats' fears intensify over Biden's run. And North Carolina could require proof of citizenship to vote.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

New MN law ends prison gerrymandering

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Tuesday, May 21, 2024   

Minnesota's legislative session wrapped up over the weekend with lawmakers banning so-called prison gerrymandering. The provision was part of an elections policy bill quickly signed by Gov. Tim Walz.

Under such laws, state and local governments are required to count incarcerated people at their last home addresses when drawing new political boundaries after each census. Supporters say that prevents a community hosting a prison from gaining greater representation by including these individuals in their population totals.

During earlier debate, Esther Agbaje, DFL-Minneapolis, said when these protections aren't in place, there's a negative ripple effect.

"And what it also means is that the home communities where prisoners had come from have lost a portion of their political power in the state because of that population miscount," she said.

Some Republican opponents argued that communities with prisons have to stretch their resources, and local governments shouldn't lose out on funding if those held inside are counted as living elsewhere. But supporters of these law changes say this is increasingly becoming a bipartisan issue, with conservative states such as Montana implementing similar bans.

Organizations such as the Prison Policy Initiative say the movement reflects the need to fix a longstanding flaw within the U.S. Census Bureau.

"While the Census Bureau has not yet decided to act, Minnesota can use its power to reallocate the data that comes from the Census every ten years to ensure a more accurate count, " Agbaje explained.

In situations where an incarcerated person has a last home address outside of Minnesota, or no home address at all, they're excluded from redistricting counting but are still added to the statewide population total.

Nearly 20 states have either banned or restricted prison gerrymandering. Many local governments across the country have adopted bans as part of their redistricting.


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