Good news for Minnesota in today's 2010 Census announcement. The North Star state will keep all eight of its congressional seats. Why does it matter? It means billions of extra dollars flowing into the state over the next decade, according to Hamline University professor David Schultz.
In addition to more money, keeping the seats spares the state from what could have been a particularly nasty round of redistricting.
"By keeping the seat we avoid the really ugly battle," Schultz said.
Still, that doesn't mean it will be easy. The Republican-controlled House and Senate legislature will draft their own redistricting plan. The temptation will be to redraw the lines to benefit Republicans. That could include trying to put Minneapolis and St. Paul into one congressional district. They could also reconfigure the 1st Congressional District lines — perhaps putting more of GOP 2nd District Rep. John Kline's area into DFL Rep. Tim Walz's district. But with Democrat Mark Dayton in the governor's office, odds are he will not agree with the work of Republican lawmakers. That would send the issue to the courts. The new map must be done by Feb. 12, 2012.
For more detailed numbers from the 2010 census, go here.