Whitmer: State must ‘get serious’ on redistricting

Michigan

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Though an appeal seems likely, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says the order by federal judges to redraw certain legislative districts should be followed.

The three-judge panel ruled last week that Michigan must redraw district boundaries for nine of its congressional seats and 25 of its state legislative streets. Additionally, the judges ordered a special election in 2020 for state senators.

“It shows that we’ve had undemocratic gerrymandering going on in our state,” Whitmer said of the decision. “We’re all paying a price for that. My hope is that they abide by it, all the parties do, and we get serious redrawing the districts.”

The ruling gives the state Legislature only about 90 days to come up with new district boundaries, raising concerns that it will slow the already sluggish budget process.

Whitmer said lawmakers should get everything done regardless.

“As for the budget, you know, I’m going to be working here all summer. It looks like perhaps, whether it’s gerrymandering and or the budget, we all should stay in Lansing until the job is done,” she said.

When asked if she really thought everything could happen at the same time, she replied, “Absolutely.”

An appeal could mean that there would be changes in the ruling, but to a certain point, the Legislature doesn’t have time to wait and see if it is really going to redraw the lines by Aug. 1.

As for the budget process, the governor’s proposed 45 cent per gallon gas tax increase has made no advancement in either chamber.

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