Missouri redistricting initiative facing court challenge

jefferson city

Missouri Capitol Building in Jefferson City.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – A Missouri judge is considering whether to strike down a November ballot measure proposing to change the way House and Senate districts are drawn and limit lobbyist gifts.

Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green was hearing arguments Friday from attorneys for a Republican voter and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. They claim the so-called Clean Missouri initiative violates the state constitution by addressing multiple subjects.

Lawyers for the attorney general’s office and initiative sponsors say it deals with only one topic — the state Legislature.

Legislative districts are redrawn by bipartisan commissions after every census. The initiative would have a state demographer submit plans to commissioners for maps that achieve “partisan fairness” and “competitiveness.”

It also would prohibit lobbyist gifts over $5 and would reduce campaign contribution limits.