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Benson says funding from Legislature key to redistricting success

a map of Michigan's 13th Congressional district
Federal Election Commission

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says she’s looking to the Legislature to provide enough money to ensure the new state redistricting commission can do its job.

The amendment approved by voters last November provides some money, but Benson says she wants money to recruit commission members from all walks of life.

House and Senate leaders of both political parties will be allowed to veto some applicants. But Benson says political considerations will take a back seat if a lot of people apply to be in the commission.

“The success of this process may very well hinge on whether the Legislature fully funds it at every stage, and I think that role of the Legislature and the importance of that funding is not lost on anyone making decisions right now.”

Benson says she has met with Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield to request funding.

“We have the opportunity to really define a best practice as opposed to just how far can you go with as little funding as possible," Benson said. "And so that’s my goal, to say, what if we do this well, and do this right, and what can it look like?”

Benson says it’s important to get the redistricting process right this time because it will set the pattern for how the job is handled again in 10 years.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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