Rep. Barnes co-authors redistricting reform legislation

April 22, 2013
State Representative Mandela Barnes

State Rep. Mandela Barnes

State Representative Mandela Barnes on Thursday, April 11, 2013 announced with his 13 fellow freshman democratic representatives a bill to reform the process of legislative boundary redistricting.

Current law requires that the majority party in both the Assembly and Senate redraw district boundaries every ten years, taking place after the census. This proposal would create a Redistricting Advisory Commission, and hand that power to the non-partisan Legislative Reference Bureau.

“This is the perfect way to ensure that these lines are drawn out in the open, and in a non-partisan fashion. In the past, both parties have been guilty of drawing these lines in their favor. With this bill, my constituents will have the comfort of knowing that their elected officials won’t be signing non-disclosure agreements, meeting in secret, and spending taxpayer dollars on attorneys for the purpose of disenfranchising their opposition- whichever party happens to be in the minority in the future.

“I am calling on all of my colleagues, Democrats and Republicans alike, to co-sponsor this legislation, and send a loud and clear message to the residents that elected them that democracy and transparency come first in Wisconsin. Let’s remove partisan politics from this process, and save taxpayer dollars.”

State Senators Dave Hansen, Tim Cullen, and Dale Schultz have co-authored a companion bill.