Local Leaders Express Grave Concerns About How Amendment 3 Would Hurt Their Communities

Local leaders across Missouri shared grave concerns about Amendment 3 as part of the public comment process for the gerrymandering ballot measure, which are reflected in the formal fiscal impact statement published today by the State Auditor:

  • State governmental entities expect no cost or savings.
  • Individual local governmental entities expect significant decreased revenues of a total unknown amount.

Amendment 3 would eliminate the requirement that state legislative maps be drawn based on the total population of Missouri, with the stated goal of drawing maps based on the number of eligible voters in Missouri instead. Drawing district lines on the basis of citizen-voting age population (CVAP) would mean that 1.5 million Missourians — almost all of them children —  are not represented in their State Capitol.

Materials made public today show that local elected officials, academics, business leaders, and citizens across the state are very worried about what such a move would mean for local governments, small businesses, and Missouri’s economy. “A loss of representation in the legislature leads to a decline in state funding for affected counties and municipalities,” wrote David Kimball, Professor of Political Science at University of Missouri – St. Louis. 

Moreover, data provided to the General Assembly and State Auditor show that not counting everyone in Missouri maps would disproportionately impact communities of color, which would impact more than representation in the State Capitol. “We should expect a significant impact on Missouri’s small businesses, the local economy, local sales taxes, local lodging taxes, and state income taxes if maps are drawn in a discriminatory way that disproportionately impacts Missourians of color,” wrote St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson.

Full letters and statements of potential fiscal impact may be found on the State Auditor’s website here. Notable comments include:

Bellefontaine Neighbors Mayor Tommie Pierson, Sr: 
“[Amendment 3] would have a significant fiscal impact on local governments and small businesses in Missouri if the population standard for state legislative maps is changed from using total population to a citizen voting-age population or eligible voter standard… if Missouri maps are drawn based on the number of eligible voters, instead of the total population, there would be a discriminatory impact on the representation for voters of color.” (emphasis in original) 

St. Peters Mayor Len Pagano: 
“SJR38 Sponsor Dan Hegeman indicated on the Senate floor on January 29, 2020 that the intention… is to move the state of Missouri away from using total population for state legislative maps, and instead use a new population standard when drawing state legislative plans based on the ‘the people that are able to vote.’… Such a move would be a radical departure from how Missouri has drawn maps for at least 145 years. Drawing maps on anything other than the total population of Missouri would also be a departure from current practice in the United States. Right now, every state in America counts everyone for redistricting purposes.”

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page: 
“Testimony provided to the House General Laws Committee during debate on SJR38 made clear that if Missouri maps are drawn based on the number of eligible voters, instead of the total population, there would be a discriminatory impact on the representation for voters of color… more than a quarter of Missouri’s Black community and more than a third of the state’s Latino community simply would not count under a CVAP [citizen voting-age population] -based apportionment.”

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson: 
“We should expect a significant impact on Missouri’s small businesses, the local economy, local sales taxes, local lodging taxes, and state income taxes if maps are drawn in a discriminatory way that disproportionately impacts Missourians of color… our local economy could see a drop of as much as one-third of our sales tax revenue.”

Columbia Mayor Brian Treece: 
“[F]or a city with the flagship University of Missouri-Columbia, [Amendment 3] would dramatically underrepresent international students and visiting scholars. The discriminatory impact [Amendment 3] could have on the representation for voters of color could have a significant impact on Missouri’s small businesses and local government revenues… Drawing maps on anything other than the total population of Missouri as proposed by [Amendment 3] is contrary to [our] values and would perpetuate inequities and discrimination that would have a significant fiscal impact on their constituents and the City of Columbia.”

Jackson County Legislator Crystal Williams: 
“Underrepresented constituents receive less funding. This is common sense, and is documented in academic research… If [Amendment 3] is fully implemented as intended by Sen. Hegeman, we should expect a significant impact on Missouri’s small businesses and local government revenues, due to the dramatic change in who is represented, and due to the inevitable decline in economic activity that would come the public outcry after passage in implementation of such a discriminatory redistricting system.”  (emphasis in original)

Springfield City Councilman Craig Hosmer: 
“I am concerned that the fiscal impact of [Amendment 3] would be significant for local governments if any population standard other than total population is used for state legislative maps.”

Maplewood Mayor Barry Greenberg: 
“Maplewood provides services to all of our residents, and a significant change to which of our residents are counted in General Assembly districts would have a significant impact on who and how our residents are represented.”

Louise T. Wilkerson and Nancy J. Miller, co-presidents of the League of Women Voters of Metro St. Louis: 
“Removing 1.4 million children from our population count substantially affects the size of House and Senate districts and reduces the representation of all children and non-citizens.”

Rebecca Now, Executive Director of the Webster Groves, Shrewsbury, and Rock Hill Area Chamber of Commerce: 
“The language of the bill SJR 38 will present a significant negative economic impact to the communities my Chamber of Commerce serves, as it will hurt our families and our small businesses… . we have a number of families with children under 18 and the entire population deserves representation.”

Caroline Fan, Chief Strategy Officer, USAKO Group: 
“[I]mmigrant led households in the state had $6.8 billion in spending power (after-tax income) in 2018,contributing billions to the state’s economy as consumers…  measure like [Amendment 3] will cause some entrepreneurs to leave the state, or to choose other places to set up businesses… [Amendment 3] would also negatively impact the desire of international students to enroll in Missouri schools… None of these international students would count for redistricting, and they are vital to our state’s economy — those who stay open up small businesses.”

David Kimball, Professor of Political Science at University of Missouri – St. Louis: 
“A loss of representation in the legislature leads to a decline in state funding for affected counties and municipalities… If [Amendment 3] moves Missouri away from drawing legislative districts on the basis of total population then that will have a significant fiscal impact on local governments in Missouri.”

Otto Fajen, Missouri NEA:
“States that adopt such blatantly discriminatory policies are likely to see severe reactions that adversely affect the state, its economy, and its government… When children do not count the cost to local governments and neighborhood schools are significant.(emphasis in original) 

Dan Vicuna, National Redistricting Manager for Common Cause: 
“Enshrining unprecedented discrimination into the Missouri Constitution will trigger a fierce backlash… The Census Bureau estimated in 2018 that 22.5% of Missouri’s population — 1,471,488 people — are minors under the age of 18 and that 2.1% of the state’s population — 126,200 people — are noncitizens.

Missouri has drawn maps based on the total population of the state since at least 1875, and every state in America draws maps based on total population. If Amendment 3 passes and is fully implemented as Sen. Hegeman articulated, more than 1.5 million Missourians would lose representation — almost all of them children.

Basing legislative maps on anything other than total population would be discriminatory, as shown in testimony provided to the General Assembly this spring by the Brennan Center for Justice and NAACP. Removing more than 1.5 million Missourians from the population base for state house and state senate districts would have significant and profound consequences for political representation in Missouri, especially for communities with large numbers of children and communities of color which skew younger than their white counterparts.