Long hours spent at the Capitol and a looming deadline fail to break a deadlock between the House and Senate over congressional redistricting.
Negotiators for the Senate and the House met shortly after 7pm Thursday in the House Lounge. At about 2:30am Friday, talks ended after Senate negotiators returned to the Lounge, signed a conference committee report and left without talking with House negotiators. House negotiators never signed the report. The Senate then adjourned for the weekend.
House Redistricting Committee Chairman John Diehl (R-Town and Country) refused to consider the Senate position as a compromise.
“At some point, I think the Senate will get serious about negotiating the map and try to resolve the difference between the two bodies,” Diehl told reporters afterward. “But tonight was not a serious negotiation. They never put anything serious on the table. They compromised off their prior positions”
The stumbling block appears to be how the two chambers treat St. Charles and Jefferson Counties. That is, it appears to be.
Senate Redistricting Committee Chairman Scott Rupp (R-Wentzville) says the length of the negotiations combined with the latest of the hour made analysis difficult.
“I don’t even know what the stumbling blocks are any more,” Rupp said. “We gave in areas, but it just was one of those that I don’t think the other chamber wanted to come to an agreement.”
Lawmakers had a self-imposed deadline of Thursday to reach an agreement and send a bill to Governor Nixon. Meeting that deadline would have insured that lawmakers would have had a chance to override any veto while still in regulation session. The Veto Session is held in September. Negotiations likely will resume next week.