Key issues moving forward in Missouri Legislature

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Redistricting and a prescription drug monitoring program are two issues that moved forward in the Missouri Capitol this past week.

The Missouri Senate approved a redistricting plan that could eventually make its way to the ballot for voters to decide.

Republican leaders contend the 2018 voter-approved Amendment 1 is flawed. Clean Missouri was designed to make legislative districts more competitive. Democrats believe voters expressed their will when they passed the amendment with 62 percent of the vote.

“I truly believe that they stated what they wanted when it was on the ballot before,” said Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh (D-Bellefontaine Neighbors). “I think that it will be borne out that they were right the first time.”

Redistricting happens once every 10 years following the census and 2020 is a census year.

“I don’t think that chancing it for a 10-year period is in the best interest of the state,” said Senator Floor Leader Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia). “If we don’t do it this year then we have to live with that reality and it’s a reality that, I think, is damaging for the state.”

Also this week, the Missouri House of Representatives gave initial approval to a bill that would create a statewide prescription drug monitoring program. A final vote is expected in the coming week. It’s not clear if the measure will pass in the senate. There have been efforts to pass similar legislation for several years but those efforts have failed. Missouri is the only state without a statewide PDMP.

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