MISSOURI LEGISLATIVE PRE-FILING OF BILLS BEGIN IN DECEMBER
On December 1st, the Missouri General Assembly will begin pre-filing legislation for the 2022 Legislative Session that will begin on January 5, 2022. Republicans maintain supermajority margins in both legislative chambers and the Governor’s office. Governor Mike Parson (R) has enjoyed a good working relationship with the majority of those in leadership and we expect this to continue into the next legislative session.
In the Missouri House of Representatives, Rep. Rob Vescovo (R-Arnold) is serving his final year of his final term in the legislature and thus is in his final session as the Speaker of the House. During the annual legislative veto session in September, the House Republican Caucus voted unanimously to name House Majority Floor Leader Dean Plocher (R-Town and Country) and the Speaker-Elect for ’23. As Speaker-Elect, Plocher is set to ascend to the Speaker’s role in January of 2023. Plocher is a lawyer and currently manages a small firm in Clayton.
In the Missouri Senate, Senator Dave Schatz (R-Sullivan) will remain as President Pro-Tem and Senator Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) will remain as the Senate Majority Floor Leader. The Missouri Senate has become toxic as of late as three caucuses have formed that include the Republican Caucus (16 members), Democrat Caucus (10 members) and Conservative Caucus (8 members). Not a lot is expected for the ’22 session due to the upcoming election year politics and due to several members of the Senate running for federal offices.
This month, the Governor’s office announced some major changes within his office and several executive agencies. This shift likely signals some changes in their policy efforts before the Missouri General Assembly. Notably, the Governor has appointed new leaders of the Department of Revenue (Tax Policy), Department of Social Services (Medicaid), Department of Economic Development (Job Creation) and Office of Administration (Procurement of services). The Governor has added long-time Senate staffer Alex Tuttle to his legislative team and this signals a willingness to move some major budget initiatives forward next January.
For 2022, the legislature will be forced to address several major issues and here is a list of legislation that is likely to take “center stage” when lawmakers return in January:
- Funding of Medicaid Expansion (HB 11)
- Spending authority for the $2.6 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds
- Election Integrity and Voter ID requirements
- Agriculture Legislation (tax incentives)
- Medicaid cost transparency
- Congressional Redistricting (2020 US Census data)
2022 LEGISLATIVE SESSION: DATES OF INTEREST (Tenative)
December 1, 2021 – Pre-filing of bills
January 5, 2022 – First Day of Legislative Session
January 17, 2022 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day (no session)
February 21, 2022 – President’s Day (no session)
March 7-11, 2022 – Senate Spring Break (no session in Senate)
March 14-18, 2022 – House Spring Break (no session in House)
April 17, 2022 – Easter
April 18, 2022 – Easter Break
May 13, 2022 – Last Day of Legislative Session
MISSOURI LEGISLATURE SET TO TACKLE CONGRESSIONAL REDISTRICTING
(Overview of Re-Districting Process)
The Missouri General Assembly will convene in Jefferson City for its regular session Jan. 5, 2022, and redrawing the lines for Missouri Senate, Missouri House of Representatives, and U.S. Congressional districts will be on the front burner.
Candidates who wish to run for such offices will begin filing on Feb. 22, and redrawn district maps are expected to be in place no later than by the end of the filing process on March 29. So, the political pressure accompanying redistricting will be mounting.
The General Assembly is responsible for redrawing district boundaries for U.S. Congressional districts. Meanwhile, bipartisan citizens commissions are currently tackling the state Senate and state House district boundaries.
Missouri is divided into eight U.S. Congressional districts, 34 state Senate districts, and 163 state House districts. The U.S. Census is conducted every 10 years, and district lines are redrawn in Missouri and all other states after completion of the census. Redrawing district lines will be based on 2020 census apportionment data which was delivered to the President of the U.S. by the U.S. Census Bureau on April 26, 2021.
Who redraws the district lines for Missouri’s eight Congressional districts?
Members of the Missouri General Assembly are responsible for drafting the new boundaries of the eight Congressional districts. The federal government requires that districts must have nearly equal populations and must not discriminate based on race or ethnicity.
Both the Senate and the House have committees that have been appointed by the Senate President Pro Tem and the Speaker of the House, respectively. The Senate Select Committee on Redistricting is comprised of 14 members (10 Republicans and four Democrats), and Sen. Mike Bernskoetter (R-Jefferson City) is chair. The House Special Committee on Redistricting has 11 members (eight Republicans and three Democrats), chaired by Rep. Dan Shaul (R-Imperial).
Timeline for the General Assembly’s duties:
A 2021 Special Session of the General Assembly for the purpose of redrawing Congressional districts has not been called by Governor Mike Parson (R). Consequently, redistricting is expected to be a major topic, and a controversial topic, in January in the state capitol. A Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed version of the new Congressional districts, signed by Governor Parson, or state Courts issuing a ruling defining the new Congressional boundary lines, is required no later than March 28, 2022.
Candidates will be filing for open Congressional seats based on the new boundaries between Feb. 22 and March 29, 2022.
Who redraws the lines for Missouri’s General Assembly districts?
Two commissions, each comprised of 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats, – the Senate Independent Bipartisan Citizens Commission and the House Independent Bipartisan Citizens Commission – were appointed by Governor Parson on July 9, and members met for the first time on Aug. 10, with both commissions electing officers. The respective commissions are tasked with redrawing state Senate and state House district boundary lines. Both commissions are conducting hearings around the state to gather input and opinions from members of the public, meeting in locations including St. Louis, Kansas City, Cape Girardeau, Springfield, Kirksville, Jefferson City.
Timeline for the Commissions’ duties:
The Senate and the House bipartisan citizens commissions must file tentative redistricting plans and maps with the Secretary of State no later than Dec. 23.
The Senate and the House commissions must file final statements and maps with the Secretary of State, each approved by 14 of the 20 members, no later than Jan. 23, 2022.
If one or both commissions fail to submit a final plan to the Secretary of State, the Missouri Supreme Court would appoint a redistricting commission of six Appellate Court judges. The judicial commission appointments would be made by the end of January 2022 after discharge of the House and/or the Senate commission(s).
Candidates will file for open seats in the state Senate and the state House between Feb. 22 and March 29, 2022.
The judicial redistricting commission, if needed, would make its draft plan(s) public as soon as the draft is filed with the Secretary of State.
The judicial commission must file its finalized plan(s) with the Secretary of State (a majority of judges must agree to the plan(s)) by the end of April 2022.
After the August 2, 2022 primary elections and the Nov. 8, 2022 general elections, using the new districts’ boundaries, voters of the new districts will send their State Legislators and Members of Congress to Jefferson City and to Washington, DC, respectively, in January 2023.
The new districts’ boundaries will be in effect for another 10 years until the 2030 U.S. Census, assuming the process will then be repeated.