AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) — After more than 14 hours of debate, the Texas House has signed off on a new state voting map. The lawmakers considered dozens of amendments to the proposed map during the session that began Tuesday and ended just before 3:00 a.m. Wednesday.
The maps redraw the state’s congressional, Senate, House and State Board of Education maps.READ MORE: Former Texas Nurse Sentenced To Death For Killing Hospital Heart Patients
The new borders are supposed to reflect population information taken from the latest census data. Those numbers showed that people of color across the Lone Star State fueled 95% of the population growth over the 10 years.
As drawn, the map would fortify Republicans’ strength in the state House for the next decade.Gardening 101: Consider Adding Ornamental Tree For Texas Arbor Day
The final House vote on the new map was 83 to 63 — with most Republicans supporting it. Most Democrats don’t believe the new map accurately reflects the growth in the state’s minority population.
Some last-minute changes overnight included an amendment that created two additional North Texas districts that contain a majority of black voters — and one in the Dallas area where Hispanic residents are the majority of voters.
For the first time in decades, Texas lawmakers are allowed to draw and enact political maps without first getting federal approval. That preclearance requirement, for states like Texas with a history of discriminating against voters of color in redistricting, was ended in 2013 by the U.S. Supreme Court.MORE NEWS: National Juneteenth Museum Coming To Fort Worth
House Bill 1 now goes to the state Senate for approval.