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Wisconsin governor signs into law maps he drew, says ‘right thing to do’

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(The Center Square) – The court fight over Wisconsin’s new political maps is likely over.

Second-term Democratic Gov. Tony Evers on Monday morning signed into law new legislative maps he drew that take away the need for the Wisconsin Supreme Court to draw new boundaries for state Assembly and state Senate districts.

“It is a new day in Wisconsin, and today is a beautiful day for democracy,” the governor said.

Evers insists he didn’t sign because he drew the maps or because they favor Democrats.

“Today is a victory, not for me or any political party, but for our state and for the people of Wisconsin, who’ve spent a decade demanding more and demanding better of us as elected officials,” Evers added. “To me, the decision to enact these maps boils down to this: I made a promise to the people of Wisconsin that I would always try to do the right thing.”

Some Democrats, however, worry that Republicans will challenge the maps in court.

The governor’s office does plan to ask the court to affirm the new districts, and to allow the new district lines to be used in an upcoming special election for a Senate seat in Milwaukee. If there is a recall of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos in Racine County, the intent would be use the maps there.

Vos was elected in the 2004 midterms, and his time as speaker since 2013 is unprecedented in length.

For his part, Vos said the maps are signed and it is now time for Republicans to get to work.

“Today, Governor Evers signed the most Republican-leaning maps out of all the Democrat-gerrymandered maps being considered by the Wisconsin Supreme Court,” Vos said in a statement. “We sent him those maps, not because they are fair, but because the people of Wisconsin deserve certainty in state government. This legislation brings to end this sham of a litigation designed to deliver judicially gerrymandered Democrat maps to the liberal special interest groups funding said litigation. This fall Republicans will prove that we can win on any maps because we have the better policy ideas for the state of Wisconsin. We are happy that the governor’s signature brings to an end decades of liberal special interest litigation over maps in Wisconsin.”

Republicans have majorities of 22-10 in the Senate and 64-35 in the Assembly.

Every seat of the state Assembly and 16 of 32 in the Senate are on the ballot this fall.

A WisPolitics analysis estimates Democrats could gain three Senate seats. The governor’s new map could flip the Assembly to Democrats’ majority.

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