The Missouri House Rules Committee has voted 6-3 in favor of a resolution that would repeal 2018 legislative redistricting changes. The plan, headed to the full House, opposes Clean Missouri’s efforts to change how legislative district maps are drawn.
Many Democrats say Clean Missouri’s efforts will make legislative races more competitive and many Republicans says it will work in favor of Democrats.
Committee chairman Rocky Miller, a Republican from central Missouri’s Lake Ozark, voted in favor of the resolution intended to reverse the Clean Missouri measure.
“This is going to go down in flames if it makes it to the ballot. Flames. This will not pass at all,” said Miller. This will be as bad as right-to-work. This will be three strikes in a row against the GOP. So, if they want three strikes in a row – pass this. We’ll see how it goes.”
In 2017, the Missouri Legislature passed a right-to-work law, which would ban mandatory union fees in the workplace. The next year, Missouri voters overwhelmingly shot down the law.
He said the Missouri GOP Party told him the proposal has errors that need corrected. Miller, who is in his 8th and final year in House due to term limits, did not elaborate.
“That would then require it to go back over to the Senate, which I think at this late hour may be a death sentence,” said Miller. “So, I would hope that if people feel strongly on this bill, that they would either not allow it to come forward or come forward as is.”
The Senate has already passed the plan, but Democrats would likely use their filibuster power to stall a vote. The Legislature’s regular session ends Friday.
During Monday’s vote, Democrat Sarah Unsicker of Shrewsbury pointed out a contentious piece of the plan that would use eligible voters instead of total population – leaving out some voices.
“I believe that’s intended to count only citizens,” she said. “But I’m not sure what data would be used to count citizens as opposed to immigrants.”
In an earlier hearing, bill sponsor, State Senator Dan Hegeman, R-Cosby, said he’s concerned Clean Missouri’s redistricting process would hurt communities.
“My biggest concern is that we will break up those voices and then Gladstone may be represented by three people and therefore represented by nobody,” said Hegeman.
Hegeman said Clean Missouri would lead to “greater gerrymandering” and he calls it a “partisan train wreck”.
Hegeman’s resolution would let a bipartisan commission redraw legislative districts, instead of a nonpartisan demographer. It would also ban lobbyist gifts, instead of Clean Missouri’s $5 limit, and put a $2,000 cap on Senate candidate political donations, instead of the current $2,500.
The measure is Senate Joint Resolution 38.
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