JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
As time ticks by, representatives and senators in the Missouri Capitol are drawing closer and closer to "sine die," the Latin phrase that notes the end of the legislative session.
Lawmakers still have several bills and policies on their plates as they work up to 6 p.m. Friday, when the legislative session will end. The Missouri General Assembly is supposed to pass a new map for the eight U.S. congressional districts in the state, but despite working all year on this task lawmakers have not come to an agreement.
The Senate was scheduled to discuss redistricting in a committee hearing at noon on Wednesday. That time came and passed as Sen. Bill Eigel (R-Weldon Springs) filibustered a health care bill.
The current map being discussed in the legislature was proposed one week ago by Rep. Dan Shaul (R-Independence). The map is meant to be a compromise between the one passed out of the House of Representatives and the one passed out of the Senate since neither chamber liked the map from the other side of the Capitol.
Shaul introduced the compromise map with just enough time for it to be passed through both chambers before the end of the session, but only if the Senate follows his plan. Earlier in the year, Senate conservatives filibustered the redistricting debate for weeks, but this time around they don't have that kind of time.
Shaul's proposal splits nine counties, including Boone County. The split goes right down Broadway, in the heart of Columbia. It passed the House on Monday.
Boone County Clerk Brianna Lennon said waiting for the maps to be finalized is causing her office to work overtime.
"If the map passes this Friday, and we can access it by Monday the 16th, that will give county clerks six to seven working days to move each voter based on their residential address being updated in the state system to their new congressional district," Lennon said.
The clerk's office has been working since April to move people into their new voting precincts with new city wards and state House districts, but it's still waiting on the U.S. congressional districts.
"The deadline to make these changes is May 24, since that is when we need to create the August election in the state voter registration database to ensure that every voter receives the correct ballot," Lennon said.