Gov. Mark Dayton must now consider a redistricting plan that would redraw the state's legislative boundaries before the 2012 election—a plan that puts Reps. John Benson (DFL-43B) and Connie Doepke (R-33B) into one legislative district. That means that the two area lawmakers would be forced to retire or to run head-to-head against one another.
Earlier this month, House Republicans released and then narrowly passed the bill that would alter the state's electoral boundaries. And on Tuesday, the Senate followed suit and also passed the plan—but only after a heated debate over whether it contained bipartisan principles.
The proposed measure would locate both Benson and Doepke within the 46B legislative district, which would encompass most of the cities of Minnetonka and Wayzata.
The bill is now headed to Dayton, who has made it clear he will not support any redistricting bills that lack bipartisan support. If Dayton vetoes the redistricting legislation, the courts will redraw the lines after February 21, 2012. If approved, changes to legislative districts would be effective starting with the state primary election of 2012.
Legislative districts are redrawn every 10 years following the completion of the Federal Census. Boundaries are drawn to place roughly the same number of people in each of the 134 House districts and 67 Senate districts.