Office of the Governor
November 18, 2021
The Honorable, the Senate:
hist144352I am vetoing Senate Bill 621 and Senate Bill 622 in their entirety.
Senate Bill 621 would redistrict the legislative districts of the state and Senate Bill 622 would redistrict congressional districts.
I am vetoing both Senate Bill 621 and Senate Bill 622 in their entirety because I object to maps designed only to undemocratically serve the politicians who draft them. Elected officials are entrusted with the responsibility to work for the people they represent – both those who vote for us and those who do not. These maps were clearly designed to benefit one political party over another and would preserve undemocratic majorities in the state legislature and increase Republicans’ chances of disproportionately winning six of Wisconsin’s eight congressional districts.
The overwhelming preference among Wisconsin voters in that redistricting maps be prepared by a nonpartisan committee or commission. People want maps that reduce one-party unfair advantages and that support the creation of a government where elected officials are responsive to their communities and have to work to win their votes.
The People’s Maps Commission was created in service of that ideal. Executive Order #66 created a nonpartisan commission comprised of nine citizens selected by a panel of three retired judges to represent Wisconsin’s congressional districts, different walks of life, and different political opinions. The Commission spent more than a year doing their work over the course of more than 30 open meetings. They solicited feedback and input on how Wisconsin’s existing electoral maps affected their communities, map-drawing criteria to consider and prioritize, and how maps following the 2020 U.S. Census could be improved to better reflect our communities and the people of our state. They sought out feedback on prepared draft sets of maps before and during several stages and iterations of the map-drawing process. The Commission completed the task of drawing lines with transparency, consensus, and voter input in mind, not partisan advantage.
In stark contrast, Senate Bill 621 and Senate Bill 622 only serve the elected officials who voted for them. These weren’t the product of public input. There was less than one business day between the end of Republicans’ deadline for public redistricting proposals and requesting bill drafts of their maps. And at the recent committee hearing on legislative maps, not a single person spoke in favor except two legislative leaders who drafted these unfair maps.
And that lack of public input shows. The Princeton Gerrymandering Project, which analyzes maps all around the county for partisan fairness, competitiveness, and geography features, gave these maps an overall “F” grade. These maps are based on the unfair maps from a decade ago, which have been called some of the most gerrymandered maps in the county. These unfair maps are irrefutable a rejection of what Wisconsinites have asked for – fair maps and nonpartisan redistricting.
Referrals and Receipt of Committee Reports Concerning Proposed Administrative Rules
The joint committee for review of Administrative Rules reported and recommended:
Relating to licensure of nurse midwives.
Relating to reciprocal credentials for service members, former service members, and their spouses.
Relating to supervision of hearing instrument specialist temporary trainees.