Redistricting Process Not As Easy As Lawmakers Thought

As state lawmakers in Austin continue to work on new voting maps, there's a sense that this process is much different than the redistricting effort in 2011. Lawmakers are much more hands-on this time, but they're also not very happy.

From all appearances, the redistricting effort hasn’t been as quick or easy as some lawmakers may have thought. Instead of rubber-stamping maps that had been approved in court in time for elections last year, lawmakers have had to start from scratch.

Harvey Kronberg is the writer, editor and publisher of the Quorum Report and was a guest on Houston Matters with Craig Cohen. 

“They had been relying on Attorney General Abbott’s assurances that this would be a very brief encounter. As they started to look into it, they realized that they had to have hearings around the state, they had to create a legislative record, that amendments would have to be accepted if a legislation was proposed. What you have now is 181 very irritated members of the legislature that feel like they were led down a primrose path.”

Public hearings on redistricting at set for tomorrow at 11 at the University of Houston, Michael J. Cemo Hall.

Dr. Richard Murray is a political science professor at the University of Houston. He says unlike in 2011, lawmakers actually have some say this time.

“It’s going to work differently because what the powers that be within the Republican Party organization tried to do in 2011 just did not work and this time around we’re getting more input from individual legislators.”

With less than a month until the end of the special session, Murray says there’s a chance no redistricting plan will emerge.