Senate Research Center   S.B. 6
78R1408 JSA-DBy: Wentworth
As Filed


Currently, the Texas Constitution directs the legislature to apportion
Texas into state senate and state representative districts at the
legislature's first regular session after the publication of the United
States decennial census.  As proposed, S.B. 6 establishes a nine member
bipartisan  citizens' redistricting commission to draw district lines for
congressional districts, state senate districts, and state representative


Rulemaking authority is expressly granted to the Texas Redistricting
Commission in SECTION 1 (Section 307.006, Government Code) of this bill. 


SECTION 1.  Amends Subtitle A, Title 3, Government Code, by adding Chapter
307, as follows: 


 Sec.  307.001.  DEFINITIONS.  Defines "commission" and "plan."

Sec.  307.002.  OATH.  Requires each person appointed to take and
subscribe to the constitutional oath of office, before serving on the
Texas Redistricting Commission (TRC). 

Sec. 307.003.  ELIGIBILITY.  Provides that the eligibility of a person to
serve on the TRC is as prescribed by Section 28a, Article III, Texas
Sec. 307.004.  POLITICAL ACTIVITIES PROHIBITED.  Prohibits a member of TRC
from campaigning for elective office while a member of TRC; actively
participating in or contributing to the political campaign of a candidate
for a state or federal elective office while a member of TRC; or serving
as or being a candidate for the Texas Legislature before the second
anniversary of the date TRC adopted a redistricting plan for that body
during the member's service on TRC. 

Sec. 307.005.  OPERATION OF COMMISSION.  (a)  Requires the legislature to
appropriate sufficient money for the compensation and payment of the
expenses of TRC members and any TRC staff. 
(b)  Requires TRC to be provided access to statistical or other
information compiled by the state or its political subdivisions as
necessary for the commission's reapportionment duties. 
(c)  Requires the Texas Legislative Council (TLC), under the direction of
TRC, to provide the technical staff and clerical services that TRC needs
to prepare its plans. 

 Sec. 307.006.  DUTIES.  Requires TRC to adopt rules to carry out its
constitutional duties and to administer this chapter; act as the
legislature's recipient of the official census data and maps from the
United States Bureau of the Census pursuant to the federal decennial
census; and comply with Chapters 551 (Open Meetings) and 552 (Public

Sec. 307.007.  REDISTRICTING PLAN; FORM.  (a)  Requires TRC, for each plan
or modification of a plan adopted by it, to prepare and publish a report
that includes certain information. 

(b)  Requires TRC to make a copy of a report prepared under this section
available to the public. 

Sec. 307.008.  REDISTRICTING PLAN STANDARDS.  Requires a plan adopted by
TRC to conform to the standards provided by Sections 25, 26, and 28a,
Article III, Texas Constitution. 

Sec. 307.009.  SUBMISSION OF PLAN.  Requires TRC, upon adoption of a plan
or modification of a plan, to submit the plan or modification to the
governor, the secretary of the senate, and the presiding officer of each
house of the legislature.  

Sec.  307.010.  CESSATION OF OPERATIONS.  (a)  Requires TRC, following the
initial adoption of all plans it is required to adopt, to take all
necessary steps to conclude its business and suspend operations until it
reconvenes as provided by Section 28a, Article III, or Section 7a, Article
V, Texas Constitution, if it does reconvenes.  

(b)  Requires TRC to prepare a financial statement disclosing all its
expenditures. Requires TRC's official record to contain all relevant
information developed by TRC in carrying out its duties, including maps,
data, minutes of meetings, written communications, and other information. 

(c)  Establishes that the secretary of state becomes the custodian of
TRC's official records for purposes of election administration, after TRC
suspends operations. Provides that  any unexpended money from an
appropriation to TRC reverts to the general revenue fund. 

Sec. 307.011.  CHALLENGES TO PLAN.  (a)  Provides that after a plan or
modification of a plan is adopted by TRC or the supreme court under
Section 28a, Article III, Texas Constitution, any person aggrieved by the
plan or modification may file a petition with the supreme court
challenging the plan. 
  (b)  Authorizes the supreme court to consolidate any or all petitions
and     requires it to give the petition precedence over all other

(c)  Provides that this section does not limit the remedies available
under other laws to any person aggrieved plan. 

DISTRICTS.  (a)  Requires TRC,  if the Judicial Districts Board fails to
make a statewide reapportionment of judicial districts under Subchapter F,
Chapter 24, unless the TRC is already reconvened, to reconvene on
September 1 of the year provided by Section 7a(e), Article V, Texas
Constitution, to make the statewide reapportionment as required by Section

(b)  Requires TRC to complete the reapportionment of judicial districts as
soon as possible within the time provided by Section 7a(e), Article V,
Texas Constitution. 
(c)  Provides that TRC's reapportionment of judicial districts becomes
effective as provided by Sections 24.948 and 24.949. 

(d)  Requires TRC, following the effective date of a reapportionment of
judicial districts, to take all necessary steps to conclude its business
and suspend operations in accordance with Section 307.010.  Requires TRC
to suspend operations after the 90th day after the September 1 on which
TRC's authority to adopt a reapportionment plan for the judicial districts
begins, unless the supreme court grants TRC additional time to conduct its

SECTION 2.  Amends Section 24.945(e), Government Code, to prohibit the
legislature, the Judicial Districts Board, or the Texas Redistricting
Commission, rather than the Texas Legislative Board, from redistricting
the judicial districts to provide for any judicial district smaller in
size than an entire county except as provided by this subsection.  Makes a
conforming change. 

SECTION 3.  Amends Section 24.946(a), Government Code, to provide that if
the Judicial District Board fails to make a statewide apportionment by
that date, the Texas Redistricting Commission, rather than the Texas
Legislative Board established by Article III, Section 28a, rather than
Section 28, of the Texas Constitution shall make a statewide
reapportionment of the judicial districts not later than the 90th, rather
than 150th day, after the final day for the Judicial Districts Board to
make the reapportionment, and that apportionment takes effect as provided
by Sections 24.948 and 24.949. 

SECTION 4.  Provides that this Act takes effect January 1, 2005, but only
if the constitutional amendment proposed by the 78th Legislature, Regular
Session, 2003, establishing the Texas Redistricting Commission to
redistrict the Texas Legislature and Texas congressional districts and
revising the constitutional redistricting provisions, is approved by the
voters.   Specifies that if the proposed constitutional amendment is not
approved by the voters, then this Act has no effect.