Texas House is promoting new congressional card, but it still needs Senate approval

AUSTIN (Nexstar) – Early Sunday morning, state lawmakers made the final changes to the state congressional delegation card, one of the final steps in the district process.

But it’s not on its way to Governor Abbott’s desk yet.

The House added 14 amendments, and the card went back to the Senate for approval – which it did not get. The Senate did not approve the changes, and now both chambers are sending members to a committee to work on the changes.

Distribution occurs only every 10 years, and in this decade, Texas was given two additional seats to the state delegation due to exponential growth. The proposed plan has already been passed with Republican support in the state Senate.

“The demand to equalize district populations based on the 2020 census, keep political subdivisions together, keep communities of interest together, preserve the nuclei of existing districts,” said State Representative Todd Hunter, (R – Corpus Christi), as he began billing Saturday night. He said he believes the Senate’s card followed all the applicable rules for redistribution, laid down by the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.

“Although race may not be the predominant factor in drawing maps, what we have referred to is section 2 of this law prohibits any adoption of a plan that restricts minority citizens from having the opportunity to choose their preferred candidate if certain circumstances exist, ”Rep. Hunter continued.

But the Democrats spent the night trying to change the map.

The first proposed amendment, by State Representative Chris Turner (D – Grand Prairie), sought to strike the bill’s enacting clause, which would essentially kill the bill as it is, forcing lawmakers to start over. This change failed along with most others proposed by the Democrats.

Rep. Turner took the question of how the two new congress seats were added to the map. He and other Democrats said it does not accurately reflect where the state has grown.

“Despite that, 95% of the growth could be attributed to non-Anglo-Texans, these two new congressional districts are majority Anglo-districts,” the rep said. Turner.

The state has faced legal problems due to redistribution a decade ago.

“Since the legislature has proven to be deliberately discriminatory over the last decade by three different federal courts. What steps were taken to see that it did not happen again? “Statens rep. Rafael Anchia, (D – Dallas), asked rep. Hunter Saturday.

“We’ve had this discussion before, and I do not agree with your opinion, because I looked at the final decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, five to four, which said Texas’ plan and proposals were correct,” Rep. Hunter.

Once the differences are sorted through the cards, they head to Governor Abbott for approval.

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