Drawing the lines – hearings to give Texans chance to share input on redistricting

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AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Texas is shaping up as a battleground state in the 2020 election. For state lawmakers, there’s a lot more at stake. The winners will control how voting lines in Texas get redrawn for the next decade.

It’s called redistricting and it happens after the 2020 census. In 2021, Texas lawmakers will go to battle over how state House, state Senate, Judicial and Congressional districts get drawn. The results determine who appears on your ballot in future elections.

But lawmakers are already laying the groundwork for the redistricting plans. This week, the Texas House Redistricting Committee scheduled two field hearings to get public input on the process.

The hearings are designed to provide context to the Census data that legislators will receive. It also gives Texans the opportunity to share information about their communities that they believe lawmakers need to know as the redistricting process moves forward. 

“We have to travel the state to get the feedback about what should happen,” said Rep. Sheryl Cole (D-Austin). Cole is a first-term lawmaker who was named to the House Redistricting Committee.

“The number one thing you can do is listen,” Cole said.

The first hearing will be in Austin on Tuesday, Sept. 10. It will be at 1:30 PM in the Texas Capitol, committee hearing room E1.030.  The second hearing will be in San Antonio on Thursday, Sept. 12. The Committee will meet at 4:00 PM in the Port San Antonio Headquarters at 907 Billy Mitchell Blvd.

The House committee also scheduled public hearings in Fort Worth and Dallas in October.

The Senate Redistricting Committee scheduled a hearing for October 29 at the State Capitol. No public testimony will be considered at that hearing.

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