Senator Hinojosa stresses impact of Census count results
McALLEN — The United States Census Bureau announced today that Texas gained 4 additional Congressional districts in the U.S. House of Representatives, bringing the total to 36 up from the current 32. The Texas Legislature, which convenes on January 11, 2011 will draw the lines that will make up Texas' 36 congressional districts.
Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa is among the key decision makers responsible for drawing the state's legislative and congressional district lines as a member of the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting.
"South Texas is one of the regions that has contributed to the 20% growth in the state's population over the past ten years, and should be one of the areas that gains a seat," said Senator Hinojosa. "The difficult task will be in shaping a district that truly will benefit the area and help bring in additional resources to meet the growing needs of the region's citizens."
Texas will get the county and city population numbers starting in February which will provide a more detailed image of where the specific growth occurred across the State. South Texas communities are expected to be among the fastest growing, and often struggle to keep up with the increasing demand for social services, health care access, infrastructure, and jobs.
"There is no doubt that South Texas deserves an extra seat at the table when decisions are being made about spending for key programs from education and transportation to housing and health care programs," Hinojosa added. "The leadership of this state recognizes the overall importance of this region to the economy of Texas and understands that we need to continue making investments not only to keep pace with population growth, but also to support the economic growth that is taking place."
Texas is one of the few states that is required by the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to obtain federal "pre-clearance" by the U.S. Department of Justice before the newly drawn districts are finalized.
"I will work closely with my colleagues to draw the state's legislative, congressional, and State Board of Education districts in a way that is fair to all constituencies and communities in South Texas. This means that I will be looking out for odd-shapes in the map that threaten to dilute the influence of South Texas communities."