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Missouri loses congressional seat with 2010 census

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 | 7:15 p.m. CST; updated 9:53 p.m. CST, Tuesday, December 21, 2010

COLUMBIA — The data are in, and Missouri will lose one seat in the next congressional election.

The state, which has had nine U.S. representatives since 1983, will send eight representatives to Congress in 2013.

The U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday released apportionment data from the 2010 census. Missouri's population was determined to be 5,988,927, which is a 7 percent increase over the 2000 census.

Nationally, the U.S. population rose from 281 million to 308 million during the decade, a 9.7 percent jump.

The bureau uses that data to apportion the 435 available seats in the House of Representatives among the 50 states based on population.

In Missouri, redistricting will put about 750,000 people in each district, compared with the 660,000 it has with nine seats.

Losing a seat means the Missouri General Assembly must redraw the districts to eliminate one district for the 113th Congress, which begins meeting in 2013.

"No preconceived outcomes, no maps have been drawn," state Rep. John Diehl, R-Town and Country, said Tuesday.

"The process of congressional redistricting is just like any other bill. We'll file a bill in the House and work off the existing map," said Diehl, who is chairman of the House Committee on Redistricting.

Although the Census Bureau has released the apportionment data, the local population breakdown within individual states has not yet been released. Without that data, Diehl said, he didn't know which areas in Missouri might be directly affected by the loss of the seat.

Diehl said the map would be redrawn by the end of the legislative session in May.

The redistricting process begins by initiating a bill in the state House, which continues via committee and legislative passage until signed by the governor.

Gov. Jay Nixon released a statement Tuesday regretting the loss of a seat but vowing that the process would move forward "openly, transparently and fairly."

Reapportionment could alter the makeup of the University of Missouri System Board of Curators, as well.

The Missouri Constitution requires the board to have nine voting members, but state law prohibits any two members from being from the same congressional district. With the loss of a seat, the state must find a way to reassign positions to ensure the board still has nine voting members. A student representative serves as a 10th curator but has no vote.

UM System spokeswoman Jennifer Hollingshead said the curators would discuss the issue at their next meeting, in January.


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Comments

Derrick Fogle December 21, 2010 | 11:28 p.m.

The flow of people south and west is largely the migration of retirees away from colder, bitter climates. Those same south and west states saw by far the biggest real estate bubbles, and are now being hit the hardest by the financial collapse. Older retirees are also Fox News' biggest audience and most faithful viewers / believers.

Red states, indeed. Watch their ink get that much redder as welfare for seniors gets gutted.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 22, 2010 | 1:41 p.m.

But if they can continue to cut education they may be able to find new people to replace their audience when they die.

(Report Comment)

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