Texas enacts new state legislative district maps

Texas enacted new state legislative districts on October 25, 2021, when Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed proposals approved by the Texas House and Senate into law. These maps will take effect for Texas’ 2022 state legislative elections.

The Senate Redistricting Committee released a draft of a Senate legislative map on September 18, 2021. A Senate panel advanced the proposal to the full Senate for debate on Sept. 28. The Senate approved an amended version in a 20-11 vote on Oct. 4. On Oct. 13, the House approved an amended version of a House map proposal introduced on Sept. 30 with a vote split along party lines.

The House and Senate approved maps for each other’s districts on Oct. 15. The House approved the Senate map by an 81-60 vote, and the Senate approved the House map by an 18-13 vote. Gov. Abbott signed both maps into law on Oct. 25.

Lt. Gov Dan Patrick (R) said of the Senate map, “This map illustrates our commitment to making sure every Texan is well-represented in their state Legislature and their voices are heard.” State Rep. Rafael Anchia (D) said the Senate proposal did not adequately reflect the racial composition of the state. “There are nearly three times as many districts that are majority white compared to majority Hispanic,” Anchia said.

State Rep. Todd Hunter (R) said the House map “achieves fair representation for the citizens of Texas.” State Sen. Eddie Lucio (D) criticized revisions to the House districts in the Rio Grande Valley, saying, “In my time in the Legislature, I have never seen such blatant disregard for the process.”

As of October 26, 2021, eight states have adopted legislative maps, one state’s legislative map is awaiting approval by the state supreme court, one state enacted its legislative boundaries based on Census estimates which will be revised in an upcoming special session, and 40 states have not yet adopted legislative redistricting plans after the 2020 census. At this point in the 2010 redistricting cycle, 26 states had enacted state legislative maps.

Nationwide, legislative redistricting has been completed for 304 of 1,972 state Senate seats (15.4%) and 758 of 5,411 state House seats (14%).