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Judge strikes GOP’s summary of Clean Missouri do-over plan

Austin Huguelet
Springfield News-Leader
Stock art of a judge?s gavel

A Cole County judge on Monday rejected Missouri Republicans’ summary of a plan to reverse changes voters made to the state’s redistricting process slated to appear on the ballot this fall, ruling the description “insufficient and unfair.”

In May, the legislature approved the following language to present the issue to voters on the ballot:

“Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

Ban all lobbyist gifts to legislators and their employees; Reduce legislative campaign contribution limits; and Create citizen-led independent bipartisan commissions to draw state legislative districts based on one person, one vote, minority voter protection, compactness, competitiveness, fairness and other criteria?”

Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce said the summary “fails to even allude to” the “central feature” of the issue, which she defined as “the wholesale repeal of voter-approved rules for redistricting and replacing them with prior redistricting rules designed to benefit incumbent legislators.”

In the place of legislators’ summary, Joyce wrote the following:

“Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

Repeal rules for drawing state legislative districts approved by voters in November 2018 and replace them with rules proposed by the legislature; Lower the campaign contribution limit for senate candidates by $100; and Lower legislative gift limit from $5 to $0, with exemptions for some lobbyists?”

This story will be updated.

Austin Huguelet is the News-Leader's politics reporter. Got something he should know? Have a question? Call him at 417-403-8096 or email him at ahuguelet@news-leader.com.