House Special Committee on Redistricting Approves Congressional Redistricting Map
Wed, 01/19/2022 - 1:12pm admin
Missouri House Redistricting Remains Undecided
Amanda Mendez, Publisher
Changes to your representation in Jefferson City remain in the air as another week of legislative session closes. Missouri must redraw state legislative district maps following the results of the 2020 census.
Missouri's House and Senate Independent Bipartisan Citizens Commissions have been meeting since August, but have not come to an agreement, confirms Representative David Evans (R-154) in an interview Friday. According to Evans, changes in larger metropolitan areas with high concentrations of Democrats such as Kansas City and Springfield remain contested. This lack of accord regarding districts in larger cities is delaying the entire process statewide.
Evans expects that his district, the 154th, will change, but he can only offer guesses as to what the final boundaries will look like.
If the Commissions cannot come to an agreement, the Courts will decide the boundaries this month, Evans explained. The Court is not required to accept any recommendations from the Bipartisan Citizen Committee.
Despite the discord, the changes are expected to be solidified soon, one way or the other.
On the other hand, legislation that will establish new boundaries for Missouri’s eight congressional districts is one step closer to consideration on the House floor. The House Special Committee on Redistricting gave its stamp of approval to HB 2117 Wednesday morning during a public hearing in the State Capitol.
Committee Chair Dan Shaul and Vice-Chair Hannah Kelly said the map approved by the committee was created with input from legislators representing their constituents, public testimony from citizens across the state of Missouri, and 2020 census data.
“The map created in HB 2117 contains compact and contiguous districts as required by our constitution while also keeping communities of interest and like-mindedness together,” said Shaul, R-Imperial. “The Census data allowed us the opportunity to better understand Missouri’s population and we used that information in combination with the testimony shared in committee to create a map that accurately reflects our state and our congressional districts.”
Kelly said the bipartisan process used in committee allowed members from both parties to have input on the new district boundaries. The committee met again January 12 to give time to an alternate map proposed by House Minority Leader Crystal Quade. While the committee did not approve the map, Kelly said she was pleased with House Leadership’s commitment to due process.
“Our goal has been to allow all state representatives, and Missourians from all parts of the state, to make their voices heard on this bill before we move forward,” said Kelly, R-Mountain Grove. “I’m confident we have a bill that fairly and accurately represents our districts, and that can receive strong support on the House floor. There is no stronger foundation than the Constitution we are sworn to uphold.”
HB 2117 must now receive approval from the House Rules committee before moving to the House floor for discussion. Shaul and Kelly anticipate the bill to be discussed on the floor on Tuesday, January 18.