Redistricting bill passes in Texas
By DS Gands
Oct 13, 2003
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The Senate was due to come to order at 6:00 p.m. but was delayed for approximately thirty minutes.  House Bill 3, Sponsored by Senator Staples, was the first order of business.  The Bill passed without much fanfare other than an expression of glee in the background of the roll call by Staples.  The vote was 17-14.  The Senate adjourned the Third Called Special Session of the 78th Legislature, Sine Die at 7:35p.m., Sunday, October 12, 2003.  School Finance Reform waits in the wings, and Democrats have pledged to take the redistricting issue to court.

In the CNN report it was said that the Senate staved off its vote to wait for the House to approve an unrelated bill to reorganize some parts of state government.   It was House Bill 7.  According to the CNN report, "By the time that bill was eligible in the House on Friday, there were not enough state representatives left at the Capitol for a quorum.

"The House reconvened Sunday and approved the government reorganization bill, acceding to pressure from the Senate.

"Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst previously said the Senate would not approve the redistricting map until the House passed the reorganization bill.

Republican Carter Casteel who co-authored House Bill 7 said, "I do not want to be held hostage by the Senate.  I am sad that I'm standing here today asking you to vote against a bill that I helped author."   Since the bill had some interesting twists in its journey, and its text, the announcement from the lady lege was stunning and enlightening.

Precident for redistricting has been established by this movement to redistrict based on voting trends in this State.  There is a well established and major movement against this action that will only become evident regarding its power at the polls.

Redistricting has been a divisional issue in the State of Texas for months.  Since the public announcement of the concept, there have been vast divides on the issue.  However, the Texas Legislature has spoken.  Whether it was a move motivated in the best interest of the voters, or an agenda for securing a majority for Republicans is yet to be determined. 

It is the law, as soon as Governor Perry signs it. 

Property Taxes and other issues will be the subject of discussion at the Town Hall Meeting scheduled by Senator Estes at Cruce Stark Auditorium, Tuesday, October 14th, beginning at 4:30 p.m.  And, we move on.