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Legislative Update

Governor signs legislative maps into law

by | Feb 19, 2024 | Election, Legislative Update Blog

Democrat Governor Tony Evers today signed the legislative maps into law which were last week approved by the GOP-controlled Legislature. The new maps were drawn and previously submitted by the governor to the state Supreme Court. He approved the maps despite concerns from legislative Democrats that they could be challenged in federal court.

From WisPolitics.comEvers had previously pledged to sign his maps if Republicans sent them to him with no changes. During a ceremony in his conference room, Evers said them maps before him were his, “nothing more and nothing less.”

“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,” Evers said. “Keeping that promise to me matters most, even if members of my own party disagree with me.”

The guv’s signature also likely ends the possibility the state Supreme Court will draw the maps. In throwing out the GOP-drawn lines used in the 2022 election, the liberal majority urged the Legislature and Evers to pass a new map and signaled it would defer to them if they did. 

Still, Evers said he will ask the court to clarify that the lines are in place for any special election between now and the fall. A provision in the maps says they first take effect for the November elections and any special or recall elections that occur concurrently. There’s currently a vacancy in the state Senate and a recall effort against Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester.

Republicans now have a 22-10 supermajority in the Senate with one vacancy and a 64-35 edge in the Assembly. A WisPolitics analysis of the maps shows Dems likely only have three pickup opportunities in the Senate this fall under Evers’ maps. Meanwhile, there would be a path to the majority in the Assembly, though it would depend on factors such as the performance at the top of the ticket, candidate quality and resources.

See a comparison of Evers’ maps and the ones in place during the 2022 elections here.

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