By: Sara Walsh
It is my great honor to represent the people of Missouri’s 50th District and to share with you this past week’s Capitol Report.
This upcoming week, we are in the final stretch of session, which adjourns on Friday, May 13th.
This past week, the House discussed a new map to redistrict Missouri’s Congressional Districts.
Before I share the revisions, let me provide some background on the mapping process so far. The House sent the Senate the first proposed maps in January. This map kept most of District 50 (Boone, Cooper, and Moniteau counties) fully within the 4th Congressional District, where those counties are currently. The maps – and several other pieces of important legislation – stalled as some in the Senate filibustered for a 7-1 map. I supported the initial effort to secure a 7-1 map for conservative values. However, Republicans were not united in how to achieve this goal and Democrats wanted a 5-3 map that would be drawn to make it possible to send three Democrats to Congress (Missouri current has 6 Republicans in the U.S. House and 2 Democrats). Eventually, the Senate reached a compromise that was sent back to the House. Unfortunately, the Senate maps arguably did not keep communities of interest together, for example the University of Missouri campus was split and one county court house was split into two different Congressional districts. The Senate map also moved Moniteau and Cooper Counties fully and Boone County partially to Congressional District 3. The House has worked diligently with the Senate to produce a map with clean lines that fairly represents Missourians – and gives rural Missourians a voice.
The latest map going to the House Floor on Monday has cleaner district lines and ensures the voice of rural Missourians, like many of those in District 50. Within District 50, the Southern part of Columbia and Southern Boone, all of Moniteau and all of Cooper counties are still moved to Congressional District 3. However, this map splits Columbia along Broadway connecting to Interstate 70, rather than gerrymander a split down the middle of Columbia. The University of Missouri campus would be fully in CD3. It also keeps both of Missouri’s military bases in the same Congressional District (CD 4) which was repeatedly mentioned to me as important by veterans in House District 50.
As your Representative, my priority is making sure you have a voice in Washington D.C., and will be fairly represented by any maps passed in either Chamber. I believe this compromise map which puts most of House District 50 with other rural counties in Congressional District 3 creates a strong voice for rural, conservative Missourians like you. I appreciate the countless hours my colleagues spent negotiating with the Senate to create a stronger 6-2 map that reflects Missouri and protects your voice in Congress.
This map will be presented to the House Floor for debate Monday.