So what’s going on with redistricting? At the moment, not a whole lot.
The House came into session late Wednesday night, but only for House Majority Leader Tim Jones, R-Eureka, to explain the situation over the next day or two.
A conference committee may go into session tonight to discuss a compromise map, which could in turn lead to debate and debate on the matter tomorrow.
In the meantime, neither chamber is in session. And as MissouriNet Tweeted, the Senate is coming back at 3 p.m. to decide whether it will meet tomorrow.
The above video - courtesy of House Communications - features Jones explaining the redistricting situation.
MissouriNet’s Bob Priddy reports that Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder will reimburse the state over $35,000 for hotel bills.
Kinder says two state audits signed by now-Democrat State Chairman Susan Montee raised no questions about his travels or the billings.
He says he will ask the Office of Administration to send half of his reimbursement to the Big Brothers/Big Sisers of Eastern Missouri Amaci mentoring program and to use the other half for a dropout prevention program.
One interesting thing worth noting is Kinder’s rationale for reimbursement - which according to St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Rebecca Berg was to “move this nimbus off the horizon, and let’s get to the real issues that concern this state.” It looks awfully similar to then-Attorney General Jay Nixon’s rationale for repaying the state for use of the state car:
Nixon’s campaign paid the state $47,021.91 on Friday, said spokesman Oren Shur. That includes $27,082.24 as reimbursement for the time attorney general’s staff members spent serving as his security aides on political trips and $19,939.67 to compensate for political mileage on the state car, Shur said.
“This is a voluntary move to allow the focus of this race to return to the issues that matter most, like fixing our state’s health care crisis and making college more affordable,” Shur said. “Now Missourians are waiting for Matt Blunt to do the same and reimburse the state for all the taxpayer money he spends for his security at political events.”
As I alluded to last week, Missouri has some very small counties in the more rural parts of the state. Worth County, for instance, has only 2,151 people. By contrast, my high school alma matter - A.E. Stevenson High School - has 4,461 students.
MissouriNet’s Bob Priddy broaches the subject of whether some of the smaller counties in the state should be merged. From his blog post:
It’s not a new question. It’s been asked after other decennial counts and sometimes in between. It is a delicate question, though, because it goes to a person’s sense of place and the sense of place is extremely important to all of us.
There used to be a little town called Cedar City at the foot of the Missouri River bridge that linked Jefferson City with Callaway County. The town dated from 1870 and was a place for homes, churches, and a school. It was never very big. It was flooded several times but the people always came back. Many years ago Jefferson City tried to buy out the town, move residents north to the location of a planned new highway interchange, and turn the townsite into an industrial development project. The townsfolks in Cedar City flat-out rejected the overture. This was their town. This was where generations of their families had lived. It might be a pretty poor town but it was THEIR town. It was their home. Then came 1993 and the flood that killed Cedar City. Most of what used to be the town is now a Jefferson City Park.
Read more of Priddy’s fascinating post here.