Sine Die!!!! Just Kidding……..

texas senate

Just when we thought it was actually over and we could exhale our collective breath, the Governor called the Texas Legislature back into Session.

For the first time in several Sessions, the Legislature got along a little better this year.  They worked together to address some of the major issues facing the state like water and education and they even managed to pass a budget, though it was down to the wire.

One of the reasons they got along so well is that the leadership kept a focus on the major priorities of the Session and didn’t allow some of the more controversial issues to surface.

Never fear!  That great divider, redistricting, is the major call for the Special Session which the Governor called immediately.

Exhausted Legislators must now move into self-preservation mode and as I have frequently discussed, tackle one of the most complex topics of the day.  Nothing is more challenging than for a body of elected leaders to “fairly” approve districts that represent all Texans.

The Governor simply wants the Legislature to approve the maps drawn by a San Antonio Federal Court and used for the last election cycle.  However, the Court is due to convene again this week to discuss the case and determine if the Voting Rights Act is still applicable in Texas.

Democrats, who were not enthusiastic about the plan to begin with, will make their case in the Legislature but they have little influence.  During the Regular Session, the 2/3 rule applies in the Senate that prevents legislation from being put forward without a 2/3 majority of support.  This allows Democrats to fight down some of the legislation they see as most offensive.  In a Special Session, the 2/3 rule does not necessarily apply, though the Democrats are calling for it to be used.

At this point, the only issue on the Call is redistricting.  However, the Governor may open it up to include some of the more controversial issues of the Session that did not make it through the “peacful” process.

This blogger believes that redistricting is at the root of our troubled democracy and has significantly impacted competition among campaigns.  It is always unnerving when the process carries itself well into the decade when it should only be done every 10 years.

Check out the redistricting category for more.


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