Panel releases new legislative district maps

Thursday, December 13, 2001

Associated Press WriterJEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Some Missouri voters will have new state representation for the next decade based on new legislative districts unveiled Thursday by a judicial panel.

The six-member Missouri Appellate Apportionment Commission voted unanimously on a map for the 34-member Senate and 4-2 on a map for the House.

The maps, based on 2000 census data, cannot be appealed or challenged, and it was the first time that a judicial panel has redrawn maps for both chambers.

By doing so, the panel has altered the state's legislative and political landscape because population shifts required changes to meet constitutional requirements for equal district populations.

Both the House and Senate plans put some incumbents in the same districts, but the judges stressed that none of those incumbents will have to face each other next year because of term limits.

In the Senate, St. Louis lost a seat and the Ozarks counties surrounding Springfield gained a seat.

The House plan increases the number of black majority districts from 14 to 17.

The new boundaries for both the House and Senate also decrease the number of communities split among districts.

Judge Robert G. Ulrich of the Western District, the panel's chairman, declined to discuss how the panel arrived at the decisions it made.

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