Two St. Louis-area Missouri legislators have reached a bipartisan agreement with sponsorship of legislation that would support residents of the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County to determine whether or not there should be a merger.
Sen. Gina Walsh, D-Bellefontaine Neighbors, is the main sponsor of SCR 46 in the Senate, while Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin, has HCR 97 in the House.
According to a written statement, Dogan and Walsh said the resolutions are meant to push back against efforts to reorganize and consolidate the municipalities by a statewide vote or by legislative mandate.
The resolutions do not take a position on consolidation, but do support the right of the people of the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County to have the discussion and make the decision on any reorganization.
Dogan said the issue should be handled by the residents who live in the city and county and not the determined by the rest of that state.
“It’s clear this is a local decision that should be kept at the local level in the hands of the people of St. Louis City and St. Louis County,” Dogan said.“With 57 of the 89 municipalities in St. Louis County already adopting resolutions opposing a statewide vote, it’s obvious the people believe this is a decision they should make.”
Walsh and Dogan also noted the issue was overwhelmingly rejected the last time it was brought up for a statewide vote. It was in 1962 when 74 percent of Missourians voted against merging the governments of St. Louis and St. Louis County.
Walsh echoed Dogan, and stated that the residents of both the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County should be able to decide whether or not there should be a merge.
“The citizens of St. Louis City and St. Louis County must have the right to determine their own destiny,” Walsh said. “This bipartisan resolution will protect these citizens from government overreach and protect all Missouri taxpayers from costly political games.”
Both resolutions now await assignment to committee in their respective chambers.