The Austin Chronicle

Thursday Redistricting Hearing Canceled

By Lee Nichols, May 18, 2011, 3:59pm, Newsdesk

The biggest can of redistricting worms, redrawing of congressional lines, was scheduled to be opened at a public hearing tomorrow morning, but that meeting has been canceled. It has not been rescheduled yet, nor have any Senator-submitted maps been made public yet.

"We were working furiously on a map, and making changes … and we didn't have adequate input from members yet, and didn't feel like it was a map I was ready to go to committee with yet," Senate Redistricting Committee Chair Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, told LegeLand.

Seliger said by "members," he meant members not only of the committee but the Senate generally. It's expected that members of the Congressional delegation will be personally giving input, and many almost certainly have already weighed in behind the scenes.

The redistricting should have great impact on Austin. The three-way split among congressional districts that so many Austinites find odious is expected to be made even worse by the GOP – Austin Congressman Lloyd Doggett, a very liberal Democrat and a target of the redistricting in 2003, says he has seen maps of a four-way split. Earlier this week, state Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker, released a proposal with just such a split, but reportedly it will not be considered.

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