Taking the form of House Bill 1, the committee hearing for the proposed maps, which began on Monday morning, lasted throughout the day and into early Tuesday morning.
After convening shortly again Tuesday afternoon, the committee passed an amended version by a vote of 8-6.
Notable Changes or Lack Thereof
House District 92 – Tarrant County
Of the proposed boundaries, several activists took issue with the proposed change for Texas House District 92, currently represented by Republican State Rep. Jeff Cason (Bedford), and testified in front of the committee to that effect.
The district represents the only district in the entire proposed map that was drawn in a way that would favor a potential Democrat candidate against a Republican incumbent, whereas all of the others sought to shore up Republican seats or compliant Democrat seats that had already existed.
Many activists believe that House leadership is using the proposed district boundaries as a punishment for Cason, who voted against Speaker Dade Phelan.
In the amended map that passed out of committee, no changes were made to District 92, meaning it is still drawn to favor a would-be Democrat candidate.
House District 70 – Collin County
A notable change was that of Texas House District 70, currently represented by Republican State Rep. Scott Sanford (McKinney). In September, Sanford announced that he would not be seeking re-election. District 70 currently encompasses a large portion of Collin County, including the city of McKinney.
In the initially filed version of the map, District 70 moved westward. In this configuration, it was still a Republican-leaning district, where former President Trump won by 10 points. In the amended version that passed through the committee, the district boundaries moved southwest, and it is now a Democrat-leaning district where Biden won by 11 points. The amendment was offered by Republican State Rep. Craig Goldman (Ft. Worth).
Most of the other changes between the initially proposed map and the amended version were nominal.
The proposed maps will now be sent to the House Calendars Committee for their consideration to be set on a calendar for the entire House of Representatives to consider.
The ongoing third special legislative session has the ability to last until October 19, 2021.
Other Redistricting Efforts
On Monday, the Texas Senate gave approval to both the proposed boundaries for 31 Senate districts as well as the proposed boundaries for 15 State Board of Education districts. Both will now be sent to the House of Representatives for their consideration.
The proposed boundaries for 38 U.S. congressional districts passed the Senate Special Committee on Redistricting on Monday. It is expected that the Senate will consider the proposed map imminently.