The House Redistricting Committee is taking it on the road.
Rep. Drew Darby, chairman of the House Select Committee on Redistricting, said at a hearing Saturday that he’s decided to hold informational sessions in three of the state’s largest cities for members of the public who can’t make the trip to Austin.
Specific dates and locations for each city are still up in the air. And Darby noted that final plans for the field hearings are still being worked out right now.
“This is a very fluid process,” he said.
On that point, Darby at the beginning of Saturday’s hearing had set provisional dates for all three hearings to take place by next week. But by the end of the hearing, and after talking with committee members, he’d already switched up those tentative dates to reflect the likelihood of holding one field hearing next week and saving the other two for the following week.
That effectively nixes any notion that the House committee will be ready to vote out a bill by the end of next week — the tentative timeline Darby laid out at a hearing a day earlier.
“June 7 is no longer even under consideration,” Darby said.
Aside from San Antonio, Dallas and Houston, Democrats on the House panel asked for additional field hearings in El Paso and Laredo. Darby didn’t commit, saying the time crunch — remember the special session can only last for 30 days — could prevent the committee from branching out beyond the three cities already pegged for field hearings.
I suppose the Senate could pick up the slack with hearings in other cities as needed. Along those lines, Sen. Sylvia Garcia sent out an email yesterday saying she would be holding a community briefing on redistricting this Wednesday, June 5, from 8 to 9 AM at her East Aldine district office – 5333 Aldine Mail Route Road, Houston, TX 77093. For more on what happened at the House hearing yesterday, see Greg’s liveblog. Finally, if new Census data is taken into consideration for any further map revisions, Texas Redistricting points out that most of that growth, in terms of CVAP as well as raw population, came from Latinos. Battleground Texas, I believe that’s your number being called.