Missouri Business Headlines

Senators voice support for sending redistricting back to voters

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Lawmakers made strong progress this week on legislation that would give voters a chance to revisit a radical redistricting effort currently being implemented in Missouri.

The Missouri Senate has given initial approval to Senate Joint Resolution 38, sponsored by Sen. Dan Hegeman, a Republican from Cosby and a 2019 Missouri Chamber Business Champion.

If passed and approved by voters, the resolution would stop an experiment that is set to erase and rewrite our state’s district boundaries.

The redistricting effort was part of Amendment 1. The amendment was passed by Missouri voters in 2018 following a multi-million-dollar campaign bankrolled by out-of-state, anti-business activists.

Since Amendment 1 passed, it’s become more widely understood that the redistricting plan could have major consequences. A similar redistricting scheme has never been tried or tested in another state. There are concerns that House and Senate districts could end up looking like strings of spaghetti as the state demographer searches for ways to find the politically-competitive districts that are stipulated in Amendment 1. No longer would the state have compact and contiguous districts and communities of interest would likely be separated.

Unless Senate Joint Resolution 38 is passed and approved by voters, the new districts mandated by Amendment 1 could lead to a shift in priorities in the Missouri General Assembly. This could open the door to higher taxes and more regulation. It could also reverse long-running efforts to make our state business friendly and competitive for growth and investment opportunities.

The resolution still requires another vote in the Senate before moving to the House of Representatives.

The Missouri Chamber is closely watching this legislation and urges our members to share their views with their elected officials as the discussion continues.

For more information, contact Ross Lien, Missouri Chamber director of governmental affairs, at rlien@mochamber.com or 573-634-3511.

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