JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is putting in his two cents as lawmakers argue over a new map that changes Missouri’s congressional districts.
The goal of the Senate this past week was to pass a new congressional map, but that didn’t happen. Instead, some members spent hours holding the floor, then canceling hearings and getting frustrated with each other because they can’t agree on a solution.
Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, said Thursday, the chamber is very close to a solution.
“Frankly, I would love to talk about anything other than a map at this point,” Rowden said. “You have to find 18 votes somewhere and at this point, it’s a matter of getting it done and finding 18 people to agree with you.”
Almost a month into the 2022 legislative session and still a priority to pass, a map. The proposal on the table currently, a six Republican, two Democrat congressional map, but not all agree.
“Until it’s a fair map and it’s representing the electorate of Missouri, I’m going to be strongly opposed to it,” Sen. Brian Williams, D-University City, said.
Williams wants to see a five Republican, three Democrat map instead. He’s also concerned about the 5th district which includes Kansas City.
“I think the 5th is in real danger and until we get the Greater St. Louis region together, I’ll stand where I stand,” Williams said.
The census data shows the state population grew to 6,154,913 which means each of the eight congressional districts needs an additional 20,000. Both the 1st, St. Louis City, and the 8th, southeast Missouri, districts lost people, while the 7th gained more residents, meaning lines had to be redrawn.
Senate leadership agreed Thursday, the current proposal could use some tweaks.
“I think certainly the entire conversation of how we get from point A to B, point B being a passed map, really involves St. Louis, St. Charles, Franklin County, and Jefferson County,” Rowden said. “I don’t think it gets too far outside of that.”
Thursday evening, former Gov. Eric Grietens took to Twitter, saying Missouri should have a seven Republican, one Democrat map, representing Missouri values.