July 1, 2015

New senate mapping panel plans fast track effort (AUDIO)

The second citizens senate redistricting commission is holding public hearings before meeting in Jefferson City Wednesday to start working on a map. The commission met for the first time Saturday at the Capitol, held a public hearing in Jefferson City yesterday, is holding one in Kansas City today, and will hold its required third hearing tomorrow in St. Louis.

The chairman, Springfield lawyer Doug Harpool, a former state representative who was on the first commission that deadlocked last year, wants the commission to stay on-task after finishing the public hearings tomorrow. “There are so many anxious people, I think for us to take a week off and not meet will raise anxiety levels. Let’s meet and see where we are,” he tells the commission. 

                                         AUDIO: Harpool  :16

He has posted his first proposal on the Office of Administration website and expects others to be posted during the process. 

The first citizens commission deadlocked, throwing the process into the hands of a panel of judges, who came up with a plan that has been thrown out by the state supreme court. That led to the appointment of a new commission of five Republicans and five Democrats. 

There’s no chance a new map can be in place before legislative candidate filing begins a week from tomorrow, February 28th. Legislation to push the filing date back by a month has cleared the senate and will be before a House committee this afternoon.