Among the priorities already in place for the 2022 legislative session is the redrawing of the state’s congressional districts. Every 10 years, the federal government collects census data. In addition to simply knowing how many people live in our country, these statistics give us the information we need to redraw the boundary lines for our state’s legislative and congressional districts. This is a process that normally takes some time after the census numbers are in. As with everything else over the past year and a half, COVID-19 also disrupted this work.
The first part of this exercise has already been completed — gathering the census data. It is now a matter of pouring through this information to get a sense of where things stand. When it comes to the state’s congressional districts, the General Assembly is tasked with drawing those lines. Bipartisan commissions are charged with drawing the House and Senate district boundaries. As I mentioned earlier, the drawing of the state’s congressional districts will be among the first actions taken by the Legislature next year.
For our state Senate and House districts, new census data could result in the complete redrawing of boundaries. Currently, the average state representative has approximately 40,000 people in his or her district. Most state senators have approximately 175,000 people in their district. There are a lot of people involved in drafting plans for each district, as well as our congressional districts. Despite the short amount of time, all of these folks will be working hard to ensure these districts are drawn in a fair manner, while keeping in mind the timetable to have things ready before it would be time to start preparing for the August and November elections.
This is an exciting time, and it is interesting to see how Missouri’s population is shifting, who is coming in and who is leaving our state. I am looking forward to working with my colleagues in the Missouri General Assembly to help guide this process when we return to Jefferson City in January.
As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is (573) 751-1415, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.