By Debby Stricker
Charlie Meier’s 109th Representative District has shifted to now include parts of five counties, including Bond to the northeast. It formerly included parts of four counties – Washington, St. Clair, Clinton, Madison.
Districts lines are changed every ten years after the census, to reflect shifts in population.
The number of people in the new 109th district will be about the same, at 108,000 to 110,000.
The new 109th district will no longer include two places Meier is passionate about – the Prairie State Energy Campus and Murray Center .
Prairie State power plant and coal mine in Lively Grove Township had been threatened with a premature closure by legislation that proposed closing fossil fuel power plants by 2035. That has since been extended to 2045.
Meier advocates for Prairie State, which provides hundreds of well-paid jobs, tax money to the area, and generates electricity for 2.5 million homes.
Murray Center in Centralia had been targeted for closing by the state. Meier and the Murray Parents organization led an effort to keep the institution open, because it is the best option for the residents.
Meier said that despite Prairie State and Murray Center no longer in the 109th District, if reelected he will continue to advocate for them.
The new 109th district extends further east in Washington County to include Ashley, Richview, and to the west to include St. Libory and Darmstadt, to the northeast to include parts of Bond County.
The district lost O’Fallon, Bartelso, Hoffman, and Beckemeyer.
Bond County will be a new territory for Meier to campaign for his reelection to the seat he has held since 2013. He has already contacted the Farm Bureau manager and the former Mayor of Greenville in his campaign.