Capitol Update: Redistricting in the Upcoming Special Session
As our nation observes the twentieth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, join me in remembering the nearly 3,000 Americans that lost their lives to this senseless act of violence. I remember the sorrow of that morning like it was yesterday, but also the feeling of unity that overtook our country in the following months. Communities gathered to comfort those who lost friends and relatives, but also to reflect on the dedication and strength shown by those who responded so fearlessly. God bless the everlasting memory and sacrifice of the Americans we lost that day.
With that, here’s an update from your State Capitol…
Earlier this week, Governor Greg Abbott announced that a Third Called Session will convene on September 20. The primary item on the Governor’s proclamation calls for the Legislature to use new data from the U.S. Census Bureau to redraw political boundaries which, as we’ve discussed before, is required by the U.S. Constitution. Texas has shown exponential growth, but primarily in urban and suburban areas, ultimately meaning that the number of rural representatives in Texas will likely decline. As always, my sights are set on working with my fellow East Texas colleagues to establish a solution that guarantees all rural voices are never drowned out by more urban communities.
In light of this revelation, I want to encourage all of you to participate in the public discussion that will take place ahead of the maps being drawn. Next week, the Texas House Redistricting Committee will hold three hearings to gather input and information from members of the public, as well as the State Demographer. Public testimony will be available virtually, and I encourage all to voice our shared goal of maintaining strong rural representation for East Texas. No community should have the advantage over another, just because their citizens chose to live in an urban environment.
If you wish to testify virtually, you must register. All links and information to register can be found on the committee notice here:
Besides redistricting, other items on the agenda include: legislation to appropriate funds from the American Rescue Plan, a discussion on whether local governmental entities can mandate a COVID-19 vaccine, the unlawful sheltering and restraining a dog, and a bill that would disallow a student from competing in UIL athletic competitions designated for the sex opposite to that student’s sex at birth.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can help you in any way. My district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762. Additionally, I welcome you to follow along on my Official Facebook Page, where I will be posting regular updates on what’s happening in your State Capitol and sharing information that could be useful to you and your family: https://www.facebook.com/RepTrentAshby/.