Texas Redistricting Committee advances proposed maps to lower chamber

Austin, Texas – On Tuesday, the Texas House Redistricting Committee voted 8-6 in favor of a revised version of House Bill 1, sending the proposed maps to the full House for a vote.

Rep. Todd Hunter, who drafted HB-1, speaks with a colleague at the Texas House of Representatives Chamber on May 30 in Austin, Texas.
Rep. Todd Hunter, who drafted HB-1, speaks with a colleague at the Texas House of Representatives Chamber on May 30 in Austin, Texas.  © IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

The vote came several hours after the House Committee recessed following a 16-hour hearing on Monday that extended into Tuesday morning, where 30 amendments to HB-1 were offered.

The revised draft of HB-1 added one district – House District 70 – that would lean in Democrats' favor. House District 70 is currently held by Republican Rep. Scott Sanford, who is not seeking reelection.

Another amendment to HB-1 was made by Rep. Jacey Jetton, which reconfigures Bell County, a move that Democrats had previously argued would split up the Black population in Killeen, Texas, which is currently made up of 40% Black residents.

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HB-1 was initially created by Rep. Todd Hunter, who also chairs the Redistricting Committee that approved the maps for a vote in the Texas House on Tuesday.

Despite giving Democrats a glimmer of hope in one district, the maps still lean in favor of Republicans across the state.

Following the vote, Texas House Democrat Caucus Chair Chris Turner vowed to fight back.

"We will continue to fight back against maps that disenfranchise voters, undermine communities of interest and deny Texans fair representation, and work for districts that fairly represent that 95% of the state’s population growth was driven by minority communities," Turner said in a press release.

According to the Texas Tribune's citizen voting age population (CVAP) analysis of Hunter's proposed maps, districts with a Hispanic majority would drop by three, going from 33 to 30, and districts where Black residents hold a majority would be reduced from seven to four.

Meanwhile, districts in which white residents make up the majority would increase by six, going from 83 to 89.

The latest version of HB-1 will head to the full Texas House next, but it's likely to undergo several changes before making its way to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk.

Cover photo: IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

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