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Gov. Greg Abbott signs new Texas district maps, transgender sports bill

The maps and bill passed during the Texas Legislature's third special session.

AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Greg Abbott signed the four new politics maps for Texas and House Bill 25, the transgender student-athletes bill, on Monday.

The maps determine the state’s U.S. Congressional, State House, State Senate and State Board of Education districts for the next decade. HB25 would require transgender student-athletes to play on sports teams based on their sex assigned at or near birth. 

The Texas Legislature passed all four maps and HB25 during its third special session earlier this month. 

In past sessions, the transgender student-athletes bill had always died in the Texas State House. It provides an exception for girls who want to play a sport that doesn't have a girls' team, like football. 

White House officials, as well as many other residents and organizations, have spoken out against the bill. It goes into effect on Jan. 18. 


Texas transgender student-athletes bill headed to Gov. Abbott's desk

Before and after: How do the new district maps in Texas compare?

As far as the new redistricting maps, each contains a majority of Republican-leaning districts.  

The new maps were facing criticism before Abbott signed them and the Legislature passed them. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 95% of Texas’s population growth over the last decade were people of color.

However, the U.S. Congressional District maps gives white voters control of its two new districts. The Texas House map decreases the number of districts where Hispanic and Black voters are the majority.

Specifically, 50% of new Texas residents in the past 10 years were Hispanic.  

A collation of Latino organizations filed a lawsuit against Abbott and Deputy Secretary of State Jose Esparza challenging the maps. The lawsuit says the maps are a violation of civil rights “because the plans unlawfully dilute the voting strength of Latinos.”

More lawsuits are expected in the near future, according to a report from The Texas Tribune


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