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Missouri Senate wraps up Saturday filibuster on redistricting

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)

Missouri State Senators adjourned around 5 p.m. on Saturday after hours of debating redistricting and which map best represent Missouri. A final decision was not made on Saturday.

Senators will come back in session on Tuesday Feb 15. at 2:00pm. Working on a Saturday is not common but 31st district senator Rick Brattin said its apart of negotiations, and a lot of factors are in play.

"It's a difficult process, its not easy, and with us receiving these census numbers as late as we did, now we're kind of in the scrambling mode, where 10 years ago we received them a year prior to what we have now, so we had more time to really dive in and draw these maps and slow the process down, " said Brattin

Senators from both parties have held the floor this week to stall debate on House Bill 2117, the redistricting bill passed out of the Missouri House last month. Discussion started Monday around 5:30 p.m. Senators did not adjourn until past midnight Wednesday and reconvened at noon the same day. While several amendments have been introduced throughout the filibuster, none have made any headway.

House Bill 2117

The map passed out of the Missouri House has six Republican-leaning districts and two Democratic-leaning districts.

It does not include the emergency clause that would allow the map to go into immediate effect. Without the emergency clause, the map would not go into effect until after the primary election for U.S. House of Representatives.

Senators have introduced several amendments, but none of them have been approved. One amendment on an amendment was passed yesterday, but the original amendment was pulled before Senators could vote on it.

Throughout the days-long filibuster, Senators have not gotten past the map proposed in HB 2117.

Filibuster for a 7-1 map

Members of the conservative caucus are stalling debate on HB 2117 because they're pushing for a map that would send seven Republican representatives to Washington, D.C., and only one Democrat.

Sen. Mike Moon (R-Ash Grove) said he is prepared to filibuster long enough to break the 2016 filibuster record of 39 hours.

"Well there's very little debate, actually we're filibustering, we're in the middle of a filibuster, and we haven't come together with an agreement yet," Moon said.

Moon said the 7-1 map would be more like a 6-1 map with one district in the Kansas City area that could go either way.

"The voters could actually decide," Moon said. "And so, at least it would be competitive."

The filibuster on the Senate floor has included many tangents from the maps. Senators have read from books, read their emails and even recited song lyrics to stall time.

Advocating for a 5-3 map

Democratic Senators, such as Sen. Steven Roberts (D-St. Louis), argue a 5-3 map would better represent the voters of Missouri.

"We want fair maps, you know, really what our state shouldn't be," Roberts said. "It should be at the very least to 5-3 state, meaning five Republican seats and three Democratic seats at the very least."

Roberts introduced amendments to the map, which he and other senators are calling a compromise.

"There are compromises that I proposed in some of the amendments that were offered yesterday that I'm ready to bring to a vote and I think that there is a map that would get bipartisan support, and I think it's the interest of both parties to work towards that map," Roberts said.

Senator Caleb Rowden (R-19 posted on social media Saturday saying "For the time being, we will step away from this debate on the senate floor. It is my hope that the congressional delegation will work to unify rather than divide, and be part of the solution and not just add to the problem," Rowden Tweeted.

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Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.

Joushua Blount

Joushua Blount hails from Cleveland, Ohio and has a bachelor’s degree in media communications from the University of Toledo. He also has a master’s degree from the University Of Alabama. Roll Tide!

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