Veto puts redistricting plan in limbo

Chuck Kajer, Managing Editor

Last week's veto by Gov. Mark Dayton of the legislative redistricting bill means the issue of legislative and congressional district boundaries will most likely be settled by a judicial panel.

The Minnesota legislature passed a bill making new house and district boundaries earlier this month and presented it to the governor for his signature. Dayton had said at the beginning of the process that there had to be bipartisan support for any redistricting bill in order for him to sign it.

The bill passed by the legislature received no votes from Democratic-Farmer-Labor legislators, who say they were excluded from the process and that the boundaries were drawn with no public input and behind closed doors.

The bill would have placed New Prague in Senate District 52 and House District 52A. District 52A would include all of Le Sueur County as well as the Scott County portion of New Prague, as well as Belle Plaine and Blakeley Township and the city of Belle Plaine. Rep. Glen Gruenhagen (R-Glencoe), who currently represents New Prague in District 25A, would be outside of the district, however current District 25B Kelby Woodard (R-Belle Plaine) would be an incumbent. District 52B would include western Rice County, west of Interstate 35 and a portion of Scott County, including Cedar Lake, Helena and Sand Creek townships and the city of Jordan. Rep. Mark Buesgens (R-Jordan) would be the incumbent.

State Sen. Al DeKruif (R-Elysian) would be the incumbent senator.

New Market township and Elko New Market would be in House District 54A, which would include much of southwestern Dakota County and a portion of Goodhue County.

The vetoed bill also included new congressional districts which would have had very little change in the Second Congressional District, which includes the city of New Prague. The Second District would lose Carver County, but would be extended west into portions of Sibley, McLeod, Redwood and Renville counties.

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