Democrats leave Texas in second round of redistricting protests
By D S Gands
Jul 29, 2003
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It has been reported that 11 Democrats have left the State of Texas in protest of the redistricting issue before the Senate.

CNN reports that the Democrats are in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

In addition, it is reported that Presidential candidate, Joe Lieberman, sent a letter addressed to Andrew Card at the White House asking whether he had made any contacts to federal agencies regarding the May walkout by House Democrats in Texas.  The letter asks if any White House official or employee contacted any federal agencies regarding the incident.

Texas Senate rules require two-thirds of the chamber to support a bill before it can be taken up for debate. Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has stated that he would throw out the rule during the second session to allow only a majority needed to debate a bill.

Texas Senator Todd Staples drew the final version offered to the committee himself, with the help of his staff, input from unnamed colleagues, and he added, the testimony at the hearings across the State.  Across the State, a majority of the citizens that testified were against this redistricting effort.

Supporters have repeatedly said that the basis for redistricting is voting trends.  Until recently, reliance upon the Census documentation was not utilized with the exception of a portion of House Bill 3 in the First Special Session, and House Bill 1 in the Second, to identify the source of the block numbers used in the bills.

House Bill 1 was filed yesterday at 11:20am.  The Proclamation from the Governor for the Second Session was read on the Senate floor hours later.  The bill has different language regarding the passage in that it reads:

SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives 
a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as 
provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this 
Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this 
Act takes effect on the 91st day after the last day of the 
legislative session.
If Dewhurst waves the rule for a quorum vote, redistricting will become effective ninety-one days after this Special Session ends.  Governor Perry announced that the quorum break would cost Texas citizens $800M.  A press release refuting this charge was issued today.  The estimated cost of each Special Session is $1.7M.
Copyright 2003 by DS Gands  All Rights Reserved