Legislative Redistricting Board
The Legislative Redistricting Board (LRB) met today at 2:00 p.m. in an organizational hearing, with Attorney General John Cornyn selected as chair. The other members of the LRB are Lt. Governor Bill Ratliff, House Speaker James E. "Pete" Laney, Comptroller of Public Accounts Carole Keeton Rylander and Land Commissioner David Dewhurst.
After electing supporting officials, the members were briefed about the computer services available to them, including between 200 and 300 maps and an extensive database. The members were also informed that the board hearings are subject to the Open Meetings Act and the Open Records Act.
Steve Bickerstaff, an attorney, briefed the members about LRB history and the difficulties of its task. He reminded them that any plan would have to be precleared by the Justice Department. If the plans are not challenged in state and/or federal court , an unlikely event considering the past, the LRB plans for legislative redistricting would be final.
The board has 60 days to draw its plans, otherwise the courts will take those over as well. The tentative schedule for the remaining meetings is as follows:
June 18, 9 a.m.: public testimony and outside proposals.
June 26, 9 a.m.: legislators' testimony and proposals.
July 10, 2 p.m.: presentation of plan by LRB members to the board.
July 16, 9 a.m.: public hearing about presented plan.
July 24, 9 a.m.: formal adoption of LRB plan.
Finally, the members adopted motions about LRB parliamentary procedures, criteria and guidelines for Senate and House redistricting, including communities of interest, the division of counties and other considerations.
The LRB then adjourned, planning to meet again Monday, June 18th.