The Missouri Senate has crossed a major hurdle – Senators have passed a Congressional redistricting plan. The shape and population size of each district has changed from the original bill.
After weeks of reading books, song lyrics and eating up the clock, further right-leaning Conservatives have settled. The chamber endorsed a plan Thursday that would keep Missouri’s Congressional districts virtually the same politically – with six Republican strongholds and two Democratic ones.
The Senate’s hardline Conservatives have been fighting all session for seven likely Republican seats and one Democratic seat but most Senate Republicans say that is not a fair representation of the state’s political makeup.
Senate President Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, said the chamber spent long hours on the legislation.
“It’s not an easy process, as we’ve all seen how difficult it is, but at the end of the day we were able to get it done,” said Schatz. “I think I was fairly optimistic at some point we would find a resolution. I didn’t know it would be this hard, but optimistic that we could come to a conclusion on that with some great work.”
Senate Majority Floor Leader Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, said the Senate worked the way it is supposed to.
“There are some people who are driving home today on both sides of the aisle that aren’t too happy – folks who are outside of the conservative caucus, inside the conservative caucus, amongst the Democrat caucus. This is not a map that a ton of people love right but we got it done the only way that we could,” said Rowden.
Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo, D-Independence, said he does not think passage of the legislation is a breakthrough for the Senate.
“We are continually held hostage by the what I would consider an extreme super minority in the Senate of a group of Republican senators that tried to hijack those on their own party. Obviously, we’ve heard over the last week what they think of us as Democrats,” said Rizzo. “No, I don’t feel like it’s a healing moment. I feel like we’ll probably be doing this again next week when they hijack the next bill of one of their colleagues – or ours.”
State Senator Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, said he was disappointed that they could not deliver a 7-1 political breakdown.
“The map that we did pass, I think did accomplish some objectives that we had been talking about for the past few months. It put both of our military installations into the same congressional district,” said Eigel. “That was a big priority for us. It also strengthened I think, the layout of the second congressional district maybe not as much as some of us would have liked, but it did make some progress on that. And so it wasn’t perfect, but we got it done.”
State Senator Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis, has been one of the leading opponents of the plan.
“I think there was ultimately a realization that unless the federal courts were going to draw the map for us, this was probably the best we were going to get. So we sat down. Some of us felt just barely comfortable voting for it and I felt less comfortable. So I voted against it,” said Onder.
The bill goes back to the House for a vote and some lawmakers are trying to beat a key deadline.
Tuesday is the last day for candidates to file for the August primary election. Some Congressional candidates might be holding off to file to learn what their new district looks like.
States redraw their Congressional and legislative districts every ten years to reflect the latest Census data.
Copyright © 2022 · Missourinet