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Capitol Briefs: Redistricting commissions set stage for work on legislative maps

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The House and Senate Independent Bipartisan Citizens Commissions elected their leadership and set future hearing dates this week as the redistricting process officially gets underway. 

Marc Ellinger was unanimously elected to chair the Senate Commission with Susan Montee chosen to serve as vice-chair. After some back-and-forth, Jerry Hunter was tapped to lead the House Commission and Keena Smith was elected vice-chair. 

The commissions met Tuesday to elect leadership and schedule future public hearings to receive testimony. Initial hearings were scheduled for both commissions on Oct. 18 in Springfield, Oct. 19 in Kansas City, and Oct. 21 in St. Louis, with more testimony to be heard if needed on Nov. 4, 9, and 10. While the House Commission is set to hear testimony on those dates in Jefferson City, Cape Girardeau, and Kirksville respectively, the Senate Commission did not decide on locations for those hearings. 

  • The commissions have until Dec. 23 to submit a tentative plan for both chambers with the Secretary of State’s Office and will then have until Jan. 23 to finalize their work. 
  • Gov. Mike Parson appointed the 40 commissioners last month, charging them with the redrawing of the state’s maps after the redistricting process was placed back in the hands of nonpartisan commissions last year. 
  • Missouri will retain its eight congressional seats under the latest data after losing one in 2010. There are 163 state House districts and 34 state Senate seats.