The state Senate's top Republican has approved payments of about $31,000 to a law firm that helped the GOP draw favorable new election maps.
Democrats blasted the timing of the last-minute payment, which came just before Republicans cede power to them.
Senate chief Clerk Jeff Renk says Senate Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald approved the payment last week. Renk declined to immediately provide the amount of the payment, but Democratic Sen. Jon Erpenbach says Renk told him it was about $31,000.
A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report says that means taxpayers have spent more than $1.5 million to draw the maps and pay court costs associated with defending them.
The Democrats are preparing to take over the Senate on Monday following the successful ouster of state Sen. Van Wanggaard