Members of the state senate might think they have the trump cards in creating Missouri’s new congressional districts.
The House idea for collapsing our present nine congressional districts into eight has been beaten up in the Senate, where members say it has no chance of being accepted. The senate has its own plan but the House has wasted no time on it and wants the senate to work on a compromise.
Senate redistricting committee chairman Scott Rupp of Wentzville does not expect big changes in the map—“tinkering around the edges,” rather than “a giant overhaul,” as he puts it. But he says even tinkering with one district could have ripple effects on all of the others—causing problems with two or three districts by solving a problem with one.
To Rupp, the bottom line is finding something that can get through the Senate. “You have the power of the filibuster. Every Senator is a very individually powerful person that can gum up the system,” he says, which makes getting something through the senate is a “big, big deal.”
Rupp’s talk doesn’t mean the Senate attitude is exactly “my way or no way,” but it does indicate the House should think more about moving in the senate’s direction than digging in with its own.
There is some time pressure involved, too. Some legislators want to pass the bill so there’s time to override a veto if the governor refuses to endorse the final map. If they don’t make a statutory deadline for passing the bill during the session and the governor vetoes their efforts, lawmakers will have to wait until the September veto session to try an override.