Yet another attempt has been made to break the logjam that has kept the state legislature from approving new congressional districts.
The House has attached a new, compromise redistricting map onto a separate Senate bill, SB 68. The action in the House comes hours after negotiations between House and Senate conference committee members failed to reach an agreement on a map that trims Missouri’s congressional delegation from nine to eight. The conference committee convened at about 7pm Thursday. It ended at about 2:30am Friday when Senate members re-entered the House Lounge, signed a conference committee report and left. The House refused to sign the report.
Redistricting has become a battleground between the House and the Senate. The Senate revised the House map and returned it. The House requested a conference committee. The Senate delayed responding to the request for days, then relented and granted the conference.
House Redistricting Committee Chairman John Diehl, a Republican from Town and Country, attached a compromise bill onto SB 68. It makes some shifts in an effort to appease concerns expressed by members of the Senate about St. Charles and Jefferson Counties, though similar attempts failed to sway the Senate in negotiations. The House approved HCS/SCS/SB 68 91-47.
Diehl says the action by the House gives the legislature options. The Senate can approve the amended SB 68 or the two chambers can return to the negotiating table on HB 193.
AUDIO: House floor debate on redistricting map attached to SB 68 [45 min MP3]