While the thunder of Governor Tim Pawlenty’s new unallotment strategy drew all the attention of Capitol watchers on Thursday and Friday, the Senate, under the leadership of DFL Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller (SD59-Minneapolis), passed a redistricting bill that will perhaps have an even greater consequence on Minnesota politics than any budget bill line-item veto or unallotment.
The Senate passed SF 182 by a 39 to 28 margin, and the legislation, also authored by Pogemiller, is now referred to the House’s State and Local Government Operations Reform, Technology and Elections Committee, chaired by DFL Rep. Gene Pelowski (31A-Winona).
Pogemiller’s bill is championed by former GOP Gov. Arne Carlson and former Democratic Vice President Walter Mondale who sit on the Advisory Board of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance’s bipartisan Minnesota Redistricting Project at the Humphrey Institute. The legislation empowers the majority and minority leaders in the Senate and House with each selecting a retired appellate or district court judge to form a redistricting commission, with those four judges selecting a fifth judge. All of the judges must never have previously served in a political party designated or party endorsed position.
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