Governor Abbot has called the 3rd Special Session of the 87th Legislature to begin Monday, Sept. 20. The main job will be redistricting for US Representative districts, Texas Senate and House districts, and State Board of Education districts based on the new census data.
However the governor has also added a few other items to the agenda, including:
Bills to ban transgender students from participating in University Interscholastic League athletics. (Read our testimony against this bill from the 2nd special session).
Bills to state whether a local government entity can mandate vaccines (we testified against the bill to ban mask mandates, which died in the last special session).
We will testify against this legislation based on our Equal Opportunity and State/Local Relations positions. Watch for Action Alerts!
Redistricting - It’s Time to Provide Public Comments!
Hearings of the House and Senate Redistricting Committees have begun! The Senate hearings were last week, but the House hearings will continue this week. Issue Chair Stephanie Swanson's blog has links to the hearing notices, dates, census information, and all other tools you can use to provide comments to the committee on the special parameters of your area. Comments will be taken virtually with prior registration.
Stephanie says, “Speaking up about your community is critical to ensuring district lines are drawn to keep your community whole and grouped with nearby communities with similar interests. This ensures that your voice is heard by your elected leaders across all kinds of government decisions.
"With the release of the 2020 Census data, communities now have the ability to see where population and demographic changes have occurred over the past decade. If you live in a community that has become more diverse, please consider describing this growth in your testimony. Legislators will be required to take these demographic changes into consideration in order to draw districts that comply with the Voting Rights Act.”
Redistricting and Spring Primary Dates:
SB 13 passed which sets the dates for the spring Primary Elections, depending when redistricting is finished:
By November 15, then Primary will be March 1 (filing deadline Dec. 13).
By Dec. 28, then Primary will be April 5 (filing deadline Jan. 24).
By Feb. 7, then Primary will be May 24 (filing deadline March 7).
For more information: HRO Bill Analysis.
Other Issue Chair Updates:
LWV Texas Guest Blog for LWVUS:
LWVTX Board Member Susan Schultz's blog “How Texas Advocates Mitigated the Attack on Voting Rights” outlines how without the work of activists @LWVTexas, the anti-voter laws in Texas would be much worse. The work of everyday Americans, like you, makes a major difference!