JEFFERSON CITY – Representatives from Clean Missouri and the Missouri Senate met today to discuss a proposal to the state’s redistricting reforms.
Senate Joint Resolution 38 was the focus of this morning’s meeting. Sean Soendker Nicholson, the campaign director for Clean Missouri, said that this proposal would directly contribute to gerrymandering.
“The Senate is moving a new gerrymandering proposal that not only seeks to undo the will of the voters who passed amendment one in 2018, but also seeks to add a whole bunch of new changes to the process that Missouri’s never seen,” Soendker Nicholson said.
Senator Dan Hegeman (R-Cosby) sponsored the proposal. He said many of his constituents didn’t realize when they voted for Amendment 1 in 2018, they were voting for more than they initially thought.
“This will just allow us to retain the ethics reform package, as well as take us back to the prior way that we redistrict in the state of Missouri, and that would be where we have a bipartisan commission, that would redraw the districts off of the census,” Hegeman said.
While Clean Missouri says SJR 38 would promote gerrymandering, Hegeman believes that Clean Missouri will push gerrymandering on the state.
“You know, I think gerrymandering is in the eye of the beholder. I actually, I perceive that Clean Missouri will create much more gerrymandered districts than what the process that we had before, and that’s part of the reason why I’m bringing forth this resolution.”
Soendker Nicholson, however, says the proposal takes away some of the independence from the process.
“So that is bad all by itself, what’s also bad about the gerrymandering plan put forward is that it takes out the independence that is added at the front end of the process,” Soendker Nicholson said.
One of the issues that Clean Missouri has with the proposal is that it will “overturn the will of 1.4 million Missourians who supported the Clean Missouri amendment.” Hegeman says that if passed, voters will still have to vote on his proposal.