AUSTIN, Texas — Lawmakers will be back at the State Capitol on Monday to kick off a third special session.
Gov. Greg Abbott put five items on the agenda this time, with redistricting being the main one.
State lawmakers in the Republican-controlled Legislature will use new Census data to redraw political maps. That impacts who Texans will vote for during the coming decade to represents them.
It will be the first time in decades Texas won’t have to get federal preclearance to ensure those political maps don’t disenfranchise people of color. The U.S. Supreme Court got rid of that requirement from the Voting Rights Act in 2013.
“How you draw those boundaries determines whether or not incumbents are reelected, whether interests…whether they be urban, suburban, Black, Hispanic, Asian…are concentrated or not, or dispersed,” said Bob Stein, KHOU 11’s political analyst. “So, it’s all about whose voice gets heard in the legislature.”
Also on agenda this special session: deciding how to spend $16 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds, vaccine mandates and new rules on transgender youth sports and restraining dogs.
The special session lasts 30 days.
The Texas House gavels in at 10 a.m. Monday.