BILL ANALYSIS

 

 

 

C.S.H.B. 150

By: Solomons

Redistricting

Committee Report (Substituted)

 

 

 

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

 

The Texas Legislature is required to redistrict state senate and house districts in the first regular session following publication of the United States decennial census. Though no Texas constitutional or statutory provisions govern congressional and State Board of Education (SBOE) redistricting, as a practical matter the legislature also must draw districts for the congressional seats apportioned to Texas and for the SBOE before the candidates' filing period opens for the primary elections held in 2012.

 

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution these districts must be substantially equal in population. This is sometimes referred to as the one-person, one-vote principle.

 

Based on the 2010 federal census, the total population of Texas is 25,145,561, and the ideal population of a Texas House of Representatives district is 167,637. In the plan as filed, according to the 2010 census, the largest district (District 70) has a population of 300,801, or 79.44 percent over the ideal district. The smallest district (District 103) has a population of 117,346, or 30 percent less than the ideal district. The total range of deviation between the largest and smallest districts is 109.44 percent. To establish districts that satisfy the requirement to be substantially equal in population and other state interests, C.S.H.B. 150 defines new districts for the election of members of the Texas House of Representatives.

 

RULEMAKING AUTHORITY

 

It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution.

 

ANALYSIS

 

C.S.H.B. 150, in Article I, provides that the districts from which the members of the Texas House of Representatives are elected are the districts as provided by Article II of this bill and identified as PlanH153 on the redistricting computer system operated by the Texas Legislative Council. The bill provides that one member is elected from each district established by the bill.

 

C.S.H.B. 150, in Article II, sets out the census geographic composition of each of the 150 Texas House of Representatives districts in Texas. The boundaries of the districts in the bill are illustrated in the attached maps generated by the Texas Legislative Council's Redistricting Application (REDAPPL). The demographic and other characteristics of each house district are analyzed in the attached reports generated by the Texas Legislative Council's reporting system (TREAD). The reports provide the following information:

         The report labeled Red-100 provides a population analysis of the districts contained in the bill and shows the overall range of deviation for the plan, the population for the smallest and largest districts and, for each district, the deviation from the ideal district population and the average or mean district population and deviation. The report also shows whether any geography in the state is unassigned and whether the districts are contiguous. For each district, the report shows the district's total population and voting age population and shows for those populations the Anglo, Black, Hispanic, Black plus Hispanic, and Other population, along with corresponding percentages. For each portion of a county contained in the district, the report shows the total, Anglo, Black, Hispanic, Black plus Hispanic, and Other population, along with corresponding percentages. For each district, the report also shows the total deviation and percentage deviation from the ideal district population.

         The report labeled Red-202 provides, for each district in the bill, the total deviation and percentage deviation from the ideal district population; the total population and total voting age population; the percentage of the district's total population that is Anglo, Black, Hispanic, Black plus Hispanic, and Other; and, for the years 2008 and 2010, total voter turnout, total voter registration with the percentage of registered voters with Spanish surnames and the percentage of registered voters who turned out, and non-suspense voter registration with the percentage of non-suspense registered voters with Spanish surnames and the percentage of non-suspense registered voters who turned out.

         The report labeled Red-350 provides a list of the proposed new districts by district number and indicates the incumbent member or members whose residence is located in each district, if any.

 

C.S.H.B. 150, in Article III, defines certain geographic terms used in the textual description of the districts and provides legislative intent as to the omission of any geographic area. The bill specifies that it supersedes all previous enactments or orders adopting districts of the Texas House of Representatives and repeals all previous acts of the legislature adopting such districts. The bill specifies that the districts set out by the bill apply to the election of the members of the Texas House of Representatives beginning with the primary and general elections in 2012 for members of the Texas House of Representatives for the 83rd Legislature and that the bill does not affect the membership or districts of the Texas House of Representatives of the 82nd Legislature.

 

C.S.H.B. 150 repeals the following statutes:

         Chapter 899 (H.B. 150), Acts of the 72nd Legislature, Regular Session, 1991 (Article 195a-10, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes)

         Chapter 2 (H.B. 1), Acts of the 72nd Legislature, 3rd Called Session, 1992 (Article 195a-11, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes)

         Article 196, Revised Statutes

 

EFFECTIVE DATE

 

On passage, or, if the bill does not receive the necessary vote, August 29, 2011.

 

COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL AND SUBSTITUTE

 

C.S.H.B. 150, identified as PlanH153, differs from the original by defining districts that satisfy the requirement to be substantially equal in population, whereas the original, identified as PlanH102, transfers territory from four existing districts (Districts 21, 65, 75, and 87) to four other existing districts (Districts 22, 64, 79, and 88), respectively. The substitute differs from the original as analyzed in the attached report generated by TREAD, which provides the following information:

 

         The report labeled Red-340 provides another means to compare districts in the substitute (PlanH153) with the districts contained in the original (PlanH102). For each proposed district in the substitute, the report shows, based on 2010 census and general election data:

o        the total population and percentage of Anglo, Black, Hispanic, Black plus Hispanic, and Other persons living in the district

o        registered voters (with the percentage of total registered voters with Spanish surnames), voter turnout for the district, and the percentage of total registered voters who turned out

o        the percentage of existing districts used to compose each proposed new district in the substitute; for the portion of each existing district that is contained in a proposed new district, the total population and percentage of Anglo, Black, Hispanic, Black plus Hispanic, and Other persons; and registered voters (with the percentage of total registered voters with Spanish surnames), voter turnout, and the percentage of total registered voters who turned out.