Senate panel hears reapportionment idea

Controversy over this year’s redrawing of Missouri House and Senate districts has lawmakers considering possible changes to the process.

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“We all know about redistricting — far more than we, probably, ever knew about before this year,” state Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, told the Senate’s Judiciary Committee Monday night. “This is my 12th year — so I experienced a redistricting prior to this year.

“But, I must tell you, that because it went relatively smoothly (10 years ago) — we didn’t lose a congressional district, we didn’t have lawsuits, our apportionment committees ended up cutting a deal and agreeing to it — it just wasn’t the issue it has developed to be, today.”

Every 10 years, in the calendar year after the federal Census Bureau completes its national head count and informs each state of its official population, Missouri’s Constitution requires the Legislature to redraw the state’s congressional lines, while special citizen commissions named by the governor are assigned to redraw the state House and Senate district boundaries.

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