Amendment 1, also known as Clean Missouri, won approval from 62 percent of voters in November. Among other changes within the amendment, Clean Missouri overhauls the state’s redistricting process by putting a nonpartisan state demographer in charge of drawing the legislative districts.
A proposal from Rep. Dean Plocher, R-St. Louis, would instead keep the current redistricting process, in which separate House and Senate committees decide how to draw district lines.
Under the proposal, the map-drawing question would be put back on the ballot in the 2020 election. Proponents say citizens did not know what they were voting for last year.
Plocher’s proposal, which won approval in the House last month, must make it out of the Senate Fiscal Oversight committee before it can be discussed on the floor. However, the committee voted against passing the proposal by a 2-2 vote Monday morning.
Sen. Mike Cunningham, R-Rogersville, who chairs the committee, declined to comment Monday afternoon.
Another effort that would have weakened another part of Clean Missouri ran out of steam.
Clean Missouri makes legislative records and proceedings subject to the state’s open records law, known as the Sunshine Law. The amendment, which was added when the House approved the bill in February, would keep lawmakers’ records from being public if they relate to “the deliberative decision-making process” of the legislature. Critics have said the amendment would keep a wide range of records out of public view.
Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin, sponsored the original bill, which extends some of the ethics restrictions included in Clean Missouri to local government officials. He conceded early in the week that it was unlikely the Senate will vote on the bill, or the Sunshine Law amendment, before the session concludes Friday.
“The Senate has always had less appetite for ethics bill than the House unfortunately,” Dogan said. “This is especially frustrating because the voters spoke with Clean Missouri and said they wanted to have gifts limits, lobbyists limits and revolving-door limits, and none of those three things applies to local government officials.”
Dogan said he plans to file the same legislation next year without the amendment.