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Blue Notes

November 15, 2021


2021 Jackson County Democrats Holiday Party


Join us for a casual celebration with light food and drinks. All donations will go toward our staff and voter registration fund for the 2022 election cycle. We'll have a number of elected officials joining us and will hear some brief remarks about what's happening in the county and what to expect in the upcoming session in Jefferson City. This is a great event to bring new people out who want to get engaged in the Democratic Party for the first time.

Missouri Redistricting Process Continues The two commissions separately charged with drawing new state Senate and House of Representatives districts held the last of their scheduled hearings on Nov. 10 to take testimony from the public and now will shift to drafting proposed redistricting plans. The commissions have through Dec. 23 to submit a tentative plan for their respective chamber. Every 10 years, the state’s 34 Senate districts and 163 House districts must be redrawn to reflect population shifts under the latest U.S. Census. The Missouri Constitution grants that task to the redistricting commissions, each of which consists of 20 members, evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. It takes 14 votes for a commission to adopt a redistricting plan. If the commissions submit tentative plans, they have through Jan. 23 to finalize them. If one or both fail to do so, then the Missouri Supreme Court will appoint a different commission of six judges chosen from among the 32 members of the state Court of Appeals to finish the job. If the appellate commission takes over, which is nearly always the case, it would have until April 23 to complete its work. However, since candidate filing for the Aug. 2 primaries opens Feb. 22, the judges likely would expedite the process. In typical redistricting years, new state Senate and House districts are finalized in late November or early December. However, this year the process is months behind due to a delay in getting the data needed to draw new maps from the U.S. Census Bureau. The ideal population for a Senate district is 181,027 residents. For the House, the target is 37,761 residents. However, the constitution allows a standard population deviation of plus or minus 1 percent from the ideal. If necessary to keep cities or counties in the same district, a deviation of up to 3 percent is permitted.




Parson Potentially Persuadable in Positive Policy for People After blocking Missourians from receiving enhanced federal unemployment benefits earlier this year because he perceived they were discouraging people from working, Gov. Mike Parson has indicated he is open to providing unemployment payments to workers who are discharged for refusing to obey an employer’s directive to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Nov. 9. The paper inquired about Parson’s position in light of a new law in neighboring Iowa that extends eligibility for unemployment benefits to workers who lose their jobs after failing to get vaccinated as required by their employers. In response, a spokeswoman for Parson said, “The governor is always open to making improvements to any program in state government especially when it comes to protecting the workforce from overreaching federal vaccine mandates.” Many employers in Missouri and around the country have chosen vaccination requirements as an effective means of controlling the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace and preventing the disease from hampering productivity. The federal government has also issued a workplace safety directive for larger employers to implement vaccine requirements, subject to valid medical and religious exemptions. The directive is scheduled to take effect in December, but several states, including Missouri, are challenging it in court. In June, Parson unilaterally ended Missouri’s participation is a federal program that provided unemployed Missourians $300 a week to help offset the financial impact of the pandemic. In a news release announcing the move, Parson said, “It’s time that we end these programs that have ultimately incentivized people to stay out of the workforce.”

Federal Infrastructure Bill's Impact on Missouri

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Know of events (live or virtual) that our readers may want to attend? Send information to geoff@jacksoncodems.org and they will be featured in our next edition.

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How Racism Hurts Us All and how to win an America that Works for EveryoneMonday, November 15 6:00 pm Featuring Heather McGhee Heartland Alliance for Progress is co-sponsoring this event, with The Missouri Workers Center, the new statewide Missouri organization of low wage workers. RSVP HERE -----------------------------

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