AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas legislators will convene on Tuesday for the start of the 87th Texas Legislature. This year, some of the biggest issues include the future of the Lone Star State’s economy, COVID-19 pandemic relief and response as well as redistricting.
However, in order to begin the redistricting process lawmakers need the 2020 Census results. The Census missed its initial deadline of Dec. 31. At present, the new deadline is set for Feb. 9 but it could be spring before the count numbers are released.
This could result in a special session later this summer to give lawmakers the time needed to discuss and decide the future of Texas’ lines that will mean new maps, new districts and for some a new representative.
At present, the Austin area is represented by five congressmen — four Republicans and one Democrat, Lloyd Doggett. Doggett understands firsthand how redistricting could shape the state’s politics for the next 10 years.
Over the years, Doggett has gone through several changes from the 10th to 25th and now the state’s 35th congressional district.
“Suddenly one day instead of having Pflugerville I had McAllen; and then after that, I went toward Houston, almost to the city limits of Houston, and now currently Austin to San Antonio,” Rep. Lloyd Doggett said about his experience with redistricting. ” Undoubtedly, in normal times, the worst part of this job is I-35.”
Republicans control the Legislature and can legally draw the maps to their benefit. For a Democrat like Doggett, it could mean yet another new district.
“Our community could be split up, carved up, every which way,” he said.
Despite the outcome of redistricting later this year, voters can expect Doggett back on the ballot and on the road.
“I’m getting ready to head to the streets again, I just don’t know which streets,” he said.