The Show-Me State was the final state in the country to approve its initial round of redistricting
As a result of the decennial census, each state is required to redraw its congressional maps to reflect population changes over the previous ten years. After months of stalemate, Missouri last week finally came to an agreement on this decade’s new congressional maps. The Show-Me State was the final state in the country to approve its initial round of redistricting.
The biggest question throughout the redistricting process was how to draw the maps around the major metro areas of Kansas City and St. Louis. Earlier this year, the House approved a congressional map that featured two solidly Democratic seats, five solidly Republican seats, and one light-red seat in suburban St. Louis. However, a group of conservative lawmakers in the Senate rejected this proposal, instead preferring a map that would give seven seats to the GOP by reconfiguring the Kansas City-based 5th District, currently represented by Rep. Emanuel Cleaver.
For months, the House and Senate went back and forth in a game of high-stakes chicken. An impasse only came as a result of the constitutional deadline set forth by the end of the legislative session on Friday, May 13. To prevent court intervention, House leaders put forth a map with six reliably Republican-leaning districts and two reliably Democratic-leaning districts. The Senate was able to come to an agreement and passed it with just hours remaining until the deadline. An emergency clause was also included so that the new lines will take effect as soon as it is signed by the governor.
This compromise comes nearly two months after the March 29 candidate filing deadline. It remains to be seen whether there will be any court challenges or other setbacks that would delay the implantation of this new plan.
Controversially, 10 counties are split between two districts in the final version, including the city of Columbia in Boone County (divided between Districts 3 and 4), and Webster County in southwest Missouri (Districts 4 and 7).
To see the final version of the maps, including the previously passed House and Senate ones, you can visit the Redistricting Office’s website.