SAINT PAUL, MN – Today, Rep. Duane Sauke (DFL-Rochester) participated in a bipartisan panel discussion on redistricting with his fellow legislators and other officials. The panel was hosted by Common Cause Minnesota, the Rochester League of Women Voters, and Rochester Public Libraries among others.
“There hasn’t been a redistricting process in the lifetimes of most Minnesotans where the legislature and Governor were able to actually come to an agreement on a bipartisan plan,” remarked Rep. Sauke. “In virtually all of recent history, judges needed to draw the lines to avoid partisan gerrymandering by elected politicians. Now is the time we move forward with legislation to finally take this power away from self-interested politics and entrust it to a nonpartisan panel of judges once and for all.”
There are several proposals to change how Minnesota will conduct redistricting after the 2020 census at the Capitol. One plan, HF 314 authored by Rep. Sarah Anderson (R-Plymouth) would require that redistricting be conducted only by the legislature. In contrast HF 246 authored by Jennifer Schultz (DFL-Duluth) would put redistricting in the hands of a non-partisan panel of retired judges and not legislators.
“It’s disheartening to see that the only proposal to change redistricting moving through the legislative process is the one that guarantees legislators will draw the lines for legislative and congressional districts. Forbidding the courts from being a backstop to gerrymandering is like taking the referees off the ice and expecting a clean hockey game.”
Rep. Anderson’s bill, HF 314, has been moving through the legislative process ahead of committee deadlines, while Rep. Schultz bill, HF 246, hasn’t received a single hearing.
Rep. Sauke encourages constituents to reach out to him about any issue. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-296-9249. He encourages constituents to sign up for periodic email updates at his House website, located at www.house.mn/25b