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Congressional redistricting map was passed by both branches of Missouri’s legislature Wednesday, April 27, ending a week-long stalemate between House and Senate.
Like the earlier versions passed by the House and Senate, the map heading to the governor’s desk eliminates the St. Louis city district of U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis.
In an unusual move, the House and Senate rushed signing the bill and officially delivering it to the governor to force Gov. Jay Nixon to sign or veto the bill before the legislature’s regular session adjourns May 13.
The final plan puts a large chunk of St. Charles County in one congressional district. The map also splits Jefferson County into three different congressional districts. Opposition between the House and Senate stemmed from the dispute over these two counties in the St. Louis area.
The Senate, with both its majority leader and its redistricting committee chair from St. Charles, had been pushing a plan that gave the county a larger voice in the congressional district of U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth.
U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-St. Louis County, told reporters last week that the Missouri GOP delegation was in support of the House version of the plan.
The House Redistricting Committee chair — Rep. John Diehl, R-St. Louis County, credited the compromise to a willingness by both chambers to override a potential gubernatorial veto before the end of session.
“We thought today was a deadline of sorts and that triggered some discussions with our Senate counterparts,” Diehl said of the Wednesday deadline for assuring the governor had to act on the bill before the end of the legislative session.
The compromise addressed the splits in St. Charles County by putting 134,000 people in a district with St. Louis County and 225,000 in the district held by Luetkemeyer. The map also put 44,000 Jefferson County residents into a district the includes St. Louis County while placing 114,000 in Luetkemeyer’s district. The remaining 60,000 Jefferson County residents are in the district held by U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Cape Girardeau.
After the Senate vote, both the House speaker and the Senate president pro tem signed the bill so it could be delivered to the governor Wednesday, April 27.