Senate and House Redistricting Committees Hold Public Meeting in Abilene
ABILENE - The Senate and House Redistricting Committees held a public meeting Wednesday, February 9, 2000 in Abilene at the Abilene Civic Center.
Topping the committee's agenda was the adoption of the Senate committee rules. Testimony was given by David Hanna and Alan Ware of the Texas Legislative Council. The Texas Legislative Council is a non-partisan legislative service agency that provides a variety of population and election data reports and maps for use in the redistricting process. The election information includes by-precinct returns from all counties for primary, runoff, special, and general elections. Maps include voting precinct, legislative district, school district, and other state and local boundaries. The public may order copies of these maps and reports from the legislative council, for a nominal fee.
Members of the Senate Redistricting Committee include Senators Troy Fraser of Horseshoe Bay, co-chairman, Mario Gallegos of Houston, co-chairman, Gonzalo Barrientos of Austin, Robert Duncan of Lubbock, Mike Jackson of La Porte, Eddie Lucio of Brownsville, Frank Madla of San Antonio, Jane Nelson of Flower Mound, Steve Ogden of Bryan, Florence Shapiro of Plano, and Royce West of Dallas.
House members include Representatives Delwin Jones of Lubbock, chairman, Bob Glaze of Gilmer, vice-chairman, Fred Bosse of Houston, David Counts of Knox City, Jim Dunnam of Waco, Kent Grusendorf of Arlington, Bob Hunter of Abilene, Kenny Marchant of Coppell, Paul Moreno of El Paso, Jim Pitts of Waxahachie and Ron Wilson of Houston.
The House has a standing committee on redistricting, whereas the Senate's committee is newly selected every 10 years, by the Lt. Governor.
Redistricting is the revision of the geographic boundaries of legislative, congressional, or other districts used to elect members of a representative body. A redistricting is required after the release of the decennial Unites States census to adjust district boundaries to equalize the populations of the districts.
Two primary requirements govern all redistricting decisions in Texas. First, districts of a given type (senate, house, congressional) must have equal or nearly equal population. Second, districts must be drawn in an unbiased manner. They cannot deny or abridge a citizen's right to vote on the basis of race or language.
Public testimony was given by Abilene residents and individuals from surrounding areas.
The redistricting time table is as follows:
|Mar. 14||Primary elections|
|April 1||Census Day|
|April 11||Primary Runoff Elections|
|Nov. 7||General Election|
|Dec. 31||Deadline for Delivery of State Population Totals|
|Jan. 9||77th Legislature Convenes in Regular Session|
|Mar. 1||Earliest Likely Delivery of 2000 Census Population Data|
|April 1||Federal Deadline for Delivery of 2000 Census Population Data|
|May 28||Regular Session of 77th Legislature Adjourns|
|June-Aug.||Legislative Redistricting Board May Convene, If Necessary|
For more information on redistricting, go to the Legislative website at http://www.tlc.state.tx.us/tlc/research/redist/redist.htm.
The committee recessed subject to call of the chair. Its next meeting will be Wednesday, February 16, at the State Capitol, in the Senate Chamber, at 1:30pm. The Senate and House will continue to have joint meetings throughout the state.