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Government, Politics & Issues

Six-judge panel hears redistricting proposals for Mo. House and Senate seats

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)
A six-judge panel considers proposals to redraw Missouri's State House and Senate districts at a meeting in Jefferson City.

Numerous proposals to redraw Missouri’s State House and Senate district maps were delivered today to a six-judge panel in Jefferson City.

The interested parties include several current and former lawmakers from both political parties.  A coalition of St. Louis-area senators pitched a map that's designed to prevent the region from losing a State Senate seat.  Republican Eric Schmitt of Glendale says the metro area has not lost enough population to justify losing a Senate district.

“When you have 44 percent of the state’s Gross Domestic Product being derived from the (St. Louis) region, we want to make sure that we (are) able to represent our folks," Schmitt said.

Another map, meanwhile, would move part of the 24th Senate District from St. Louis County down to the Springfield area – still another would radically reshape dozens of districts and make them “genuinely competitive,” according to the group Let Missourians Decide.  Former Democratic State Senator Joan Bray of St. Louis says the current House and Senate maps strongly benefit incumbents from both parties.

“We looked for areas where we could create 50-50 or 45-55, 48-52, whatever, competitive districts, to better reflect the true politics of the state," Bray said.

The six-judge panel, formally known as the Appellate Apportionment Commission, is redrawing Missouri’s State House and Senate maps because two bipartisan panels failed to agree on new maps earlier this year.  The judges have until mid-December to redraw them.   

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