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Commission on Mo. Senate redistricting facing deadline next week

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio
The Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City.

The commission to redraw State Senate district boundaries in Missouri has given itself one more week to agree on a new map, or else it will hand over the responsibility to a panel of state judges.

The biggest dispute remaining is over how to redraw St. Louis County’s State Senate districts, according to commission chair Doug Harpool.

“There’s some population shifts (that) are going to make it difficult to keep all of the present senators in (their) districts," Harpool said.  "It may well be that some of them end up having to live in the same district.”

Disputes over how to divide St. Louis city, though, appear to be resolved.

“In the city, both maps are pretty similar now, and they use the north-south border, which would split to an east and a west district, which is pretty similar to what it is today," Harpool said.

There’s also a dispute over whether to include Jefferson County with either St. Louis or with Ste. Genevieve counties – and there are disagreements on where to redraw lines near Columbia, Kansas City, and the Missouri Bootheel.

The legal deadline to agree on a State Senate map is August 18th; however, the Senate Reapportionment Commission has given itself until August 16th to produce a map.

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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