Gov. Tony Evers is ordering the creation of a new state commission that he wants to draw the state’s next political map.
Evers on Monday signed Executive Order 66 that creates the People’s Map Commission.
“The people should choose their elected officials, not the other way around,” Evers said in a statement. “When it comes to the integrity of the process and the fairness of the maps, Wisconsin must look to the people, not politicians, to assist in drawing maps that fairly and accurately represent our state.”
Evers teased the People’s Map Commission during his State of the State speech last week. He said at the time that the Republican-controlled legislature is standing in the way of much of what he wants to get done.
“When more than 80 percent of our state supports medical marijuana, 80 percent support universal background checks and extreme risk protection orders, and 70 percent support expanding Medicaid, and elected officials can ignore those numbers without consequence, folks, something’s wrong,” Evers said during his speech.
He doubled down on that notion on Monday.
“When elected officials are able to ignore their constituents without consequences, and when they can rely on the safety of their seats rather than the quality of their work, something’s wrong,” Evers added.
His proposal would have members of the People’s Map Commission travel the state, then use the information to draw a new political map after the 2020 Census is complete.
The governor’s order cites the 2011 mapmaking process, which he calls secretive.
“The maps created [in] 2011 were drafted in secret by private attorneys at taxpayer expense, with almost no public input, and resulted in years of litigation; costing taxpayers millions of dollars in legal fees,” the order states.
But the idea of a commission is a nonstarter for Republican lawmakers in Madison.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, last week said the idea of replacing the people’s representatives with the People’s Commission is “completely unconstitutional.”
Drawing the state’s political map is one of the legislature’s constitutionally required duties.
Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square. Reposted with permission.