A tentative agreement has been reached on a new redistricting map for the Missouri Senate.
A bipartisan commission appointed by Governor Jay Nixon (D) to draw a new map negotiated for more than 13 hours Wednesday, and reached a consensus after 12:00 this morning. The "Tentative Plan" map can be viewed here. Marc Ellinger is the top Republican on the 10-person commission.
Two lawsuits challenging Missouri’s new congressional district map have been heard for a second time by the State Supreme Court. The cases returned to the High Court after the map was upheld two weeks ago by a Cole County Circuit judge.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs continued their arguments that the districts drawn on the so-called Grand Compromise Map fails the state constitution’s compactness requirement. Attorney Jamie Barker Landes criticized the new 5th District, which lumps three rural GOP-leaning counties with urban Jackson County, while also adding a slice of metro Kansas City onto the rural northern Missouri 6th District.
The Missouri Senate has unanimously passed legislation to move the filing period for the state’s party primaries back by one month.
The bill is moving rapidly because the filing period is currently set to begin February 28th and end March 27th, and because of the lack of new State House and Senate district maps. The Missouri Supreme Court tossed out the Senate map, which now has to be redrawn, and a legal challenge to the new House map is also being appealed to the High Court. Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) says those facts alone make it necessary to push back the filing period.
St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom's budget proposal calls for cutting 50 officers through attrition, not layoffs. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Isom presented the budget Wednesday to the Board of Police Commissioners.
The department is faced with a $3.8 million shortfall. The city allocated $168 million to the department - a 3 percent increase over last year. But pension costs came in $5 million higher than anticipated.
The Missouri Supreme Court is deciding whether the Webster Groves school district must enroll a student from the city of St. Louis.
The court heard arguments Wednesday on a case related to Missouri law that allows students from unaccredited districts to transfer to accredited districts. State lawmakers are also considering how to implement or revise the law. Three school systems in St. Louis and Kansas City are unaccredited.
The congressional redistricting map passed last year by Missouri lawmakers has been upheld by a Cole County judge.
Following a three-day court battle, Circuit Judge Daniel Green ruled late Friday that the districts in the so-called Grand Compromise Map do comply with the state constitution’s requirement that congressional districts be “as compact as may be.” Gerry Greiman, one of the plaintiff’s attorneys, disagrees.
Opponents of new Missouri House districts are taking their legal challenge to a trial court after being turned down by the state Supreme Court.
A lawsuit challenging state House districts was filed Friday in Cole County. Its filing was expected after the state high court on Thursday declined a request to strike down the House map but permitted the case to be filed in a trial court.