HB 150, the new map, passed last night and can be viewed by going here. (Choose Select Plans, Plan Type: House, the scroll to the bottom and select PlanH276 2nd Reading Engrossment HB 150). It passed 92 -52 with 10 Republicans voting “Nay” and two Democrats for “Aye”.
This morning’s Statesman article points out that there are some issues with the map, while giving the impression that the Williamson County and Austin area House members are relatively happy with the map, Sharp lines drawn in redistricting map battle.
Some Republican members and activists say the proposed map would leave too many GOP members running against each other. But House leaders say they can only do so much given the constraints of federal voting laws and shifts in population away from conservative rural areas and toward suburbs that have seen explosive and diverse growth.
Democrats are demanding greater representation for Hispanic and African American residents to better reflect the makeup of the state. Census figures, the release of which triggers the redrawing of the legislative and congressional maps every 10 years, show that most of the growth in Texas has come in minority communities.
As far as the map that the House was debating, the implications for Travis County would be minimal, [Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin] said. Solomons had asked for input from Rodriguez and the Travis delegation in drawing the map earlier in the session.
“In Travis, we worked well together,” Rodriguez said.
The map would likely leave the county split among one Republican House member and five Democrats. District 47 in Southwest Travis County, held by Rep. Paul Workman, the delegation’s only Republican, would get a seat that is fairly safe for the GOP.
But not every Travis County member agreed with Rodriguez.
Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin, has removed himself from the process. “I think we have an inherent conflict of interest, especially in this session with the budget crisis we face,” he said. The process has brought already substantial horse-trading, arguing and deal-making, Strama said.
Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, said Solomons’ map will work just fine for him. His District 45 would span all of Hays and Blanco counties and lose Caldwell County.
Rep. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, said the House map is acceptable for him, too. He’ll get more rural and represent Burnet and Milam counties, part of rural Williamson County and Georgetown.
Rep. Larry Gonzales, R-Round Rock, also said he feels good about the map that he helped draw. The district he now lives in would include all of Round Rock, Taylor and Hutto.
Williamson County would get a third seat, anchored in Cedar Park. It would not include an incumbent.
No word yet on how these districts look in respect to Democratic and Republican voters. But it would seem likely that HD 20 is still a solid GOP district, and that HD 52 is now more GOP-favorable than it was. We’ll have to wait and see on the newly created HD 149.
Brains and Eggs has some good linkage on the new map, Texas House passes redistricting bill. And the Texas Tribune has more, Texas House Gives Initial OK to Redistricting Plan. Finally the Abby Rapoport at the Texas Observer chronicles The Top Redistricting Fight Moments.