Wisconsin Paying Consultants $450 An Hour To Redraw Legislative Maps

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Robert Schmad Contributor
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Wisconsin’s taxpayers will be shelling out $450 an hour for consultants to redraw the state’s legislative maps, The Associated Press reported.

Wisconsin’s liberal-leaning Supreme Court hired the consultants after it found the state’s Republican-drawn state legislative maps unconstitutional, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Jonathan Cervas and Bernard Grofman, professors at the Carnegie Mellon University and the University of California, Irvine, respectively, were tapped by the court to review maps submitted to replace the current ones, according to the AP.

Wisconsin could pay its map consultants up to $100,000 each for their services, according to the AP. (RELATED: Swing State Court Issues Pivotal Ruling On Future Of Abortion)

Cervas told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the rate he’s being paid is the same as what he was paid for a similar job in the past. He said that he’s seen some cases pay as much as $600 an hour for PhD-level experts.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s three conservative justices who dissented against the ruling to order a new map also opposed hiring the consultants. They argued that the Court’s authority to appoint and give them the responsibility to review maps was questionable.

Cervas and Grofman are set to have considerable sway over Wisconsin’s new legislative map.

The consultants are empowered to suggest changes to submitted maps or even to propose their own maps, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Live Taping Of Pod Save America, Hosted By WisDems At The Barrymore Theater In Madison, Wisconsin

MADISON, WISCONSIN – MARCH 18: Judge Janet Protasiewicz onstage during the live taping of “Pod Save America,” hosted by WisDems at the Barrymore Theater on March 18, 2023 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for WisDems)

Though the consultants were appointed by liberal judges against the wishes of conservatives, they have track records of correcting maps biased toward Democrats.

Cervas produced congressional maps more favorable to New York Republicans in 2022, and Grofman did the same for Virginia in 2021, the AP reported.

While maps the consultants have worked on in the past favored Democrats, Wisconsin’s maps favor Republicans.

Republicans control 64 of the 99 seats in the Wisconsin State Assembly and 22 of the 33 seats in the Senate. The GOP holds large majorities despite the past two presidential elections being decided by a point or less, according to Politico.

Wisconsin residents will soon know what their new legislative maps look like.

The consultants are set to release their findings on Feb. 1 and new maps must be in place by March 15 at the order of the state elections commission, the AP reported.

Grofman did not respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.

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