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Missouri redistricting commissions schedule public hearings as 2020 Census data is to be released Thursday

Missouri Capitol
ABC17 News
Missouri Capitol


Two governor-appointed committees are starting work to redraw Missouri's district maps.

The House and Senate Independent Bipartisan Citizens Commissions held their first meetings Tuesday, in which members elected officers to lead the groups. The commissions also scheduled six public hearings in areas across the state to get residents' feedback on redistricting.

Redistricting efforts are beginning in the Show-Me State as the U.S. Census Bureau is expected to release Census data Thursday. The data is used to draw congressional and state legislative district lines.

According to a news release from Missouri's Office of Administration, Marc Ellinger (R) was elected to chair the Senate Commission. Former State Auditor Susan Montee (D) will serve as vice-chair.

In the state House of Representatives, Jerry Hunter (R) will chair the commission and Keena Smith (D) was elected as vice-chair. Both members of the commission are from District 1, which covers parts of Holt, Worth, Atchison and Nodaway counties.

How to redraw district lines has been the center of debate and referendums in Missouri over the past three years.

In 2018, voters put redistricting in the hands of an independent, non-partisan demographer. Last year, though, Missouri voters passed Amendment 3, which hands the reins back to a governor-appointed committee.

Both commissions scheduled public hearings for the following dates and locations:

  • Oct. 18: Springfield
  • Oct. 19: Kansas City
  • Oct. 21: St. Louis

The House Commission also approved three additional hearings:

  • Nov. 4: Jefferson City
  • Nov. 9: Cape Girardeau
  • Nov. 10: Kirksville

The Senate Commission scheduled hearings for the same November dates but plans to confirm their locations in the future.

According to the news release, the public hearings are meant for citizens to provide testimony or objections in order to help commission members create the new district maps.

The commissions have until Dec. 23 to complete redistricting plans. The plans must be finalized on Jan. 23, 2022.

Article Topic Follows: Missouri Politics

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Molly Stawinoga

Molly Stawinoga is ABC 17’s weekday morning anchor and a reporter at ABC 17 News. Molly joined the news team in 2017 while studying political science, journalism and Spanish at the University of Missouri. She is originally from DeKalb, Illinois.


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