Missouri Senate, House to Negotiate on Redistricting
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Senate formed its redistricting committee Wednesday in preparation to settle a stalemate with House members over how to redraw Missouri's congressional districts. Legislators involved in the redistricting committees plan to collaborate on a few areas on the different maps that are still raising questions. One of the issues to be discussed is whether parts of the congressional lines through central Missouri will merge with the Kansas City-area.
The Senate and House each passed their own plans about how to consolidate Missouri's nine current districts into eight based on the 2010 Census. The changes are necessary because of population shifts within the state and because Missouri's population growth has lagged behind that of the nation's.
Both the House and Senate maps would place St. Louis into a single district instead of the two current districts represented by Democrats William Lacy Clay and Russ Carnahan. But they differ in how to draw boundaries in the St. Louis suburbs and central and southern Missouri.
Republican senators met behind closed doors Wednesday before finally agreeing to negotiate with the House. On Thursday, Committee members plan to meet and decide on a final plan to move on to Governor Nixon for approval. If legilators are able to act on this by Friday, they would have the chance to override a potential veto by the Governor before the legislative session ends on May 13. If Nixon vetos the maps, deciding on redistricting in Missouri would be delayed for months and encroach upon the 2012 races.