House seeks redistricting conference committee

BY State Rep. Bruce Sassmann, Missouri’s 62nd District
Posted 4/6/22

Sometimes the House and Senate don’t agree.

This is very apparent when following Missouri’s congressional redistricting process. Every 10 years, the Constitution requires states to …

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House seeks redistricting conference committee

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Sometimes the House and Senate don’t agree.

This is very apparent when following Missouri’s congressional redistricting process. Every 10 years, the Constitution requires states to re-draw the congressional map. This map determines who will represent us in Washington, D.C. In Missouri, the task of drawing this map falls to the state legislature. 

The House passed a congressional map back in January, and quickly sent it over to the Senate for deliberation. From the beginning, the House worked in good faith to create a map that is compact, constitutional, and contiguous. The map preserves communities of interest and ensures that our rural, conservative values will be well-represented in our nation’s capital.

The Senate took the next nine weeks to develop its own map, which it sent back to the House just days before the candidate filing closed. However, the Senate version was less compact and split up more communities. Both maps offered two safe congressional seats for Democrats and six safe seats to Republicans.

To resolve the disagreement, the House voted to send the maps to a conference committee.

A conference committee is a committee split equally between members of the House and Senate. This conference committee reviews different versions of the same legislation created in both chambers, and works to reach a compromise. Sometimes, this is the only way for the House and the Senate to reach an agreement. While the members of the conference committee are working to resolve the differences on one specific bill, the House and Senate can move on with the other business of the legislature.

The Senate response was unexpected. 

They rejected the motion to resolve our differences in a conference committee. Instead, they returned their version of the map to the House for approval. 

Last Thursday, the House made a second request for a conference. It was a vote to continue the process to create the best possible map for the State of Missouri. The House now awaits the Senate’s response to see if discussions will continue so the two chambers can reach a compromise.

During the week, the House also approved legislation to make it a felony offense to use aborted fetal tissue for any purpose other than the diagnosis of anomalies, determine paternity, or for law enforcement purposes. We also passed a bill to strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence.

Finally, we voted to pass bills that would strengthen private property rights, improve education, and provide assistance for veterans.

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