Gov. Nixon vetoes final congressional redistricting bill 193

Nixon said the bill did not protect the interests of all Missourians.

Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed House Bill 193, pertaining to congressional redistricting, Saturday. The bill passed through the House and Senate in the past couple of weeks after much debate and attempts at compromising the initial two different versions of the maps.

The redistricting bill, which reorganized Missouri into eight districts from the previous nine, had been through various changes before the final compromised map was presented in both legislatures.

“It's never easy to draw these districts with all the considerations that must be given,” Rep. Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage, said in an email. “I do believe we have a majority consensus that we have drawn a map that meets all of the constitutional requirements.”

Rep. Glen Klippenstein, R-Maysville, said according to the most recent census, Missouri’s population increased by 7 percent, which was low compared to the national average.

Klippenstein said they lost about 15,000 constituents in the whole state, which approximates to a loss of about 1,700 per district.

“Obviously, Missouri will be losing a vote in Congress, which inherently diminishes our say,” Flanigan said. “However, each congressman/woman will continue to hold town halls, etc. and remain beholden to their respective constituencies.”

Klippenstein said the slowed population growth was concentrated in the St. Louis area.

“I would personally say because Missouri hasn't been as business-friendly as other states, and businesses have left,” Klippenstein said. “The interesting fact is that had we had about 15,000 more people, we would not have had to re-draw the district.”

Klippenstein said the lines the redistricting committee drew will remain relatively permanent for a while, even if population numbers fluctuate.

“The last time Missouri lost a congressional seat was 30 years ago,” Sen. Scott Rupp, R-St. Charles, said. “The way our population has fallen, it'll be about 20 or 30 years before we lose another seat.”

Gov. Nixon said in a news release that the bill’s districts did not fairly represent Missouri’s different regions.

“House Bill 193 does not adequately protect the interests of all Missourians,” Nixon said in his veto letter.

Klippenstein said the legislature has an opportunity to override the veto until May 13.

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