Defending traditional families

Under the Dome: January 1, 2011

Welcome to 2011 and the new political season!

2011 will be marked by legislative redistricting following the decennial census of 2010.  All State House & Senate districts, as well as Missouri’s Congressional districts, must be redrawn to keep up with population shifts.

2011 will also be marked by a huge freshman class of lawmakers due to term limits and voter dissatisfaction with the progressive liberalism flowing out of Washington D.C.

MFN extends our “thank you” to the many tea party/patriot movement citizens that have made the 2010 elections a historic mandate for lawmakers to return to traditionally conservative values in the public square!

While Missouri remains one of the more conservative states in the union, this election helps set an optimistic tone for the 2011 legislative calendar.  Missouri Family Network will begin our 27th year by recommitting ourselves to “Defending the Traditional Family” in the broadest application of policies that impact the culture in which we raise our children and grandchildren in.

Thank you also to all who have helped us survive these many years through your prayers and financial support! Your investments in MFN are not tax deductible as we fight within the political culture of our State, but as a result, your investments allow us to fight without compromise or IRS hindrances!

Under the Dome, A Weekly Look Under Your Capitol Dome

January 1, 2011

This week the First Regular Session of the 96th General Assembly will convene at your state capitol in Jefferson City for the 2011 Missouri Legislative Session.  Both the House and Senate will spend the next five months debating the future of our state and the freedoms which in large part frame our culture for generations to come.  As in the past twenty-six years Missouri Family Network will be there to work with the 163 Representatives and 34 Senators – reminding them that what they do, or fail to do, can have a tremendous impact on the Families of this Great State.  Please be in regular prayer for us as we face issue after issue, day in and day out.  Pray that we may have grace in the eyes of lawmakers as we strive to help them understand the pro-family perspectives related to the hundreds of bills before them.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Missouri Family Network together with Missouri Eagle Forum (lead sponsor), Families for Home Education, and Concerned Women for America will be sponsoring our annual Legislative Academy with over 120 registered participants.  We expect some special visits from conservative members of the House and Senate as we spend the day in an in-depth seminar focused on effective lobbying and citizen activism.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011The first day of the 2011 legislative session.

The annual Governor’s Prayer Breakfast is scheduled early Wednesday morning and serves as a great reminder that Missouri truly is a conservative mid-west state with solid values – values worth defending!

Consent of the Governed Rally
First Floor Rotunda
9:30-11:30 am

Come early and expect a full house!

At noon both the House and Senate will be called into session and the 2010 Legislature will begin.  The order of business will begin with the official swearing in of all 163 House members and 17 State Senators (half elected every other election cycle for staggered 4 year terms.  Immediately following this ceremony will be the official elections of leadership offices.  (These have each been predetermined in closed caucus sessions but must be made official through the public process and recorded votes.)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The day will start with a special commissioning prayer service at Concord Baptist Church.  The program focus will be on a charge to lawmakers followed with special prayers for various levels of offices and agencies – including all staff and the families of elected officials and the families of their staffs.  A short legislative day at the capitol and the annual session will begin in earnest the following Monday, January 10, 2011.

During the extent of the Missouri Legislative Session we will be sending you a weekly report.

“Under the Dome”In these reports we will keep you up to date on the key pro-life and pro-family issues being discussed by your lawmakers.  The UTD will inform you of bill movements and developing legislative activities to assist you in keeping up to date on the many issues of interest to the pro-life and pro-family community. House and Senate floor activities, legislative calendars, public hearings, definitions, process, etc.

Redistricting Missouri’s Political Boundaries

Every ten years, following the census, all State and Federal legislative districts are redrawn to make our representative republic as equitable as practical.  This process is designed to redraw district boundaries based on population shifts and changes in order to make each district cover the same numbers of citizens so everyone can have equal access to our elected officials.  State and National offices are reallocated based on their respective population counts.  In the end this allows the overall population to grow while keeping the U.S. Congress, State House and State Senate at the same number of lawmakers.  (The U.S. Senate remains constant with two Senators per state, each of which represents all of the legal citizens of their respective state.)

Special thanks to John Judd for outlining these details:

U.S. Congress

As per Missouri Constitution, Article 3, Section 45.

The official census report was submitted prior to the Dec. 31, 2010 deadline.  As the United States Congressional House of Representatives remains at a constant 435 members, the national census sometimes shifts the number of seats a given State has in Congress.

(It is now apparent national population shifts have caused Missouri to lose one of our congressional seats and Missouri will go down from nine (9) to eight (8) districts.)

As congressional seats cannot cross any state lines, there are constituent count variations from state to state.  However all districts within a particular state are redistricted to as similar population size as is practical.  Districts must be made contiguous territory as compact (gerrymandering is not supposed to be accepted) and as numerically equal as is possible within each state.

The State General Assembly, consisting of the 163 member House of Representatives and the Missouri State Senate’s 34 members, are charged with redrawing the Congressional district maps.  This time those maps will divide the state into eight rather than nine districts.

Both the House and Senate will treat this project the same as other legislation with each body deliberating, and in the end, each agreeing on a single proposal that can be adopted without variation between the two chambers.  (Despite the dominance of the republican party, balance is held by the difficulty of the legislative process and ultimately rooted in the Senate filibuster which is available to any member regardless of party affiliation.)

Redistricting plans will be sent through a committee process as well as full debate on the floors of each chamber.  The Chairman of the Redistricting Committee in the House will be Representative John Diehl, and the Senate Redistricting Committee Chairman will be Senator Scott Rupp.  These new maps will last ten years.

As with the House and Senate Commissions on Redistricting, failure of the Legislature to adopt new maps can put the project into the hands of the State Court.  Ultimately new maps will be submitted to the Secretary of State in time for the 2012 election calendar.

Missouri State Senate

As per Missouri Constitution, Article 3, Section 7.

Within 60 days of the official census report (Dec. 31, 2010) the two largest State Political Party Committees shall meet.  (These consist of two people, a man and woman, from each of the 34 State Senate districts.)

Each of these two sets of 68 party committees (democrat and republican) will meet on or before March 1st.  (If either party committee fails to act, the Governor shall assume their responsibilities.)

Both of the Party Committees shall meet and elect ten (10) nominees ready to serve on a redistricting commission to redraw each of the 34 State Senate districts.  These twenty (20) names will be submitted to the current Governor.

Within another 30 days the Governor shall select five of the names from each set of ten elected by their respective State Party Committees.  This will result in the formation of a final 10 member redistricting commission that will have five democrats & five republicans.  (This would occur by April 1.)

This Commission will select their own chairman, vice-chair and secretary.  They must establish at least three public hearing dates for input from the general public at large.

Within 6 months, by at least Oct. 1st, this Commission must produce a redistricting plan that redistributes the state population into the 34 Senate seats equitably and approved by no less than 70% of the full 10 member Commission.

Failing to produce an agreed upon plan (forcing political party commissioners to work together), or missing the 6 month deadline – the project goes to the courts and the Commission is dissolved.

If the State Court assumes Senate redistricting, due to the Commission’s failure, the seven members of the State Supreme Court will appoint 6 of the State’s appellate court members to form a judicial redistricting commission.

The final plan must be filed with the Secretary of State within 90 days, thus before January 1, 2012.  This plan will be used to determine all 34 Senate districts by the 2012 election season and will be intact for a total of ten years before the 2020 census and 2021 redistricting.

State House of Rep’s.

As per Missouri Constitution, Article 3, Section 2.

Within 60 days of the official census report (Dec. 31, 2010)  each Congressional District Committee will meet.  (These consist of the elected county committeemen and county committeewomen from each of the state’s current nine congressional districts.)

These nine sets of meetings (a democrat and republican mtg. in each congressional district) will occur about March 1st. A majority must be present and no proxies are allowed.

Each of these eighteen (18) groups will meet and elect two (2) nominees to serve on a redistricting commission to redraw all of the 163 State Rep. districts.  These thirty-six (36) names will be submitted to the current Governor.

Within another 30 days the Governor shall select one name from each pair elected from their respective Cong. Dist. Committees.  This will result in the formation of a final redistricting commission that will have eighteen (18) members – 9 democrats and 9 republicans.  (About April 1.)

This Commission will select their own chairman, vice-chair and secretary.  They must establish at least three public hearing dates for input from the general public at large.

Within 6 months, on or around Oct. 1st, this Commission must produce a redistricting plan that redistributes the state population into the 163 House seats equitably and approved by no less than 70% of the full 18 member Commission.

Failing to produce an agreed upon plan (forcing political party commissioners to work together), or missing the 6 month deadline – the project goes to the courts and the Commission is dissolved.

If the State Court assumes redistricting, due to the Commission’s failure, the seven members of the State Supreme Court will appoint 6 of the State’s appellate court members to form a judicial redistricting commission.

The final plan must be filed with the Secretary of State by January 1, 2012.  This plan will be used to determine all 163 districts for the 2012 election season and will be intact for a total of ten years before the 2020 census and 2021 redistricting.