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Missouri House committee advances 6-2 Republican majority congressional redistricting map

The proposed map of Missouri's new congressional districts
Courtesy of Dan Shaul
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The above map, filed by Rep. Dan Shaul in December, received committee approval Wednesday, though members did adopt a change to Ray County that keeps the city of Richmond in one district.

A Missouri House committee approved a congressional redistricting map Wednesday that keeps a 6-2 Republican majority but is expected to face challenges when it goes to the House floor.

By a vote of 8-3, with all dissenting votes coming from Democrats, the map now heads to the rules committee and will likely be debated by the full House on Tuesday.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Dan Shaul, R-Imperial, who heads the redistricting committee, would likely continue the current congressional makeup despite calls from some Republicans to draw a map that would allow Republicans to gain an additional seat.

The committee added an amendment to the bill that creates an emergency clause, which is needed to put the map in place as soon as Gov. Mike Parson signs it into law. Otherwise the map would not be in effect until Aug. 28, which would play havoc with the Aug. 2 primary.

Another amendment, sponsored by a Democrat, was eventually withdrawn after Republican members indicated a lack of support.

The amendment introduced by Rep. LaKeySha Bosley, D-St. Louis, would change the makeup of Cori Bush’s 1st District by having it go more northwest in St. Louis County as opposed to the current map, which includes the areas of Webster Groves and Shrewsbury. Bosley said the change would increase the minority population for the district, which is protected under the Voting Rights Act, by around a percentage point.

“Across the country we are seeing the dwindling of minority-majority districts, so we must do all that we can to protect this district and the integrity of this district,” Bosley said.

As to the leverage Democrats have on the redistricting process since Democrat votes will be needed in order to pass an emergency clause, Bosley said anything is on the table.

“I think that there’s also a great chance for us to do whatever we need to do to give constituents and Missourians their representation,” Bosley said.

Follow Sarah Kellogg on Twitter: @sarahkkellogg

Sarah Kellogg is the Missouri Statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio

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