House Committee Approves Congressional Redistricting Map
Dear Citizens: Legislation that will establish new boundaries for Missouri’s eight congressional districts is one step closer to consideration on the House floor. The House Special Committee on Redistricting gave its stamp of approval to HB 2117 Wednesday, January 12 during a public hearing in the State Capitol.
The committee chair and vice-chair said the map approved by the committee was created with input from legislators representing their constituents, public testimony from citizens across the state of Missouri, and 2020 census data.
“The map created in HB 2117contains compact and contiguous districts as required by our constitution while also keeping communities of interest and like-mindedness together,” said the chair of the House Special Committee on Redistricting. “The Census data allowed us the opportunity to better understand Missouri’s population and we used that information in combination with the testimony shared in committee to create a map that accurately reflects our state and our congressional districts.”
The committee’s vice-chair said the bipartisan process used in committee allowed members from both parties to have input on the new district boundaries. The committee met again Wednesday afternoon to give time to an alternate map proposed by the minority leader of the House. While the committee did not approve the map, the vice-chair said she was pleased with House Leadership’s commitment to due process.
“Our goal has been to allow all state representatives, and Missourians from all parts of the state, to make their voices heard on this bill before we move forward,” said the vice-chair of the House Special Committee on Redistricting. “I’m confident we have a bill that fairly and accurately represents our districts, and that can receive strong support on the House floor. There is no stronger foundation than the Constitution we are sworn to uphold.”
HB 2117must now receive approval from the House Rules committee before moving to the House floor for discussion. The bill will be discussed on the floor on Tuesday, January 18.
The current version of the map can be viewed at the following link: https://house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills221/maps/Map.4875H.02C.pdf
House Committee Considers Bills Designed to Ensure Appropriate Curriculum in Schools (HB 1995 and HB 1474) – The House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee held a public hearing this week to consider pieces of legislation designed to give parents more control over what their children learn, and to prevent inappropriate curriculum from being taught in school.
Lawmakers took testimony on HB 1995, which would establish the Parents’ Bill of Rights for Student Well-Being. The legislation would require school districts to adopt a policy to promote parental involvement including procedures for objection to instructional materials. The bill requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop specific forms that school districts must use for parents to opt out of instructional material, and for parents to be notified in advance whenever a teacher intends to teach a divisive or controversial topic.
“We need to send a very clear message that the state of Missouri, if we ever have to choose a side, we will always take the side of parents,” the bill’s sponsor told the committee.
The bill also establishes the Missouri Education Transparency and Accountability Portal to give access to every school district’s curriculum, source materials, and professional development materials.
During the hearing, the committee also heard testimony on HB 1474. The bill also creates a Parents’ Bill of Rights, but has additional language to prohibit the instruction of critical race theory in public and charter schools.
Specifically, the bill prohibits school districts, charter schools, and their personnel from teaching, using, or providing such curriculum or from teaching, affirming, or promoting any of the claims, views, or opinions found in the 1619 Project, which is a collections of essays on race. The bill does not allow curriculum that identifies people or groups of people, entities, or institutions in the United States as inherently, immutably, or systemically sexist, racist, biased, privileged, or oppressed. The committee completed the public hearing on both bills but has yet to bring them to a vote.
For more information, contact Representative Patricia Pike at email@example.com or call 573-751-5388.