The Austin Chronicle

Redoubling Against Redistricting

By Lee Nichols, May 8, 2009, News

Sen. Jeff Wentworth's attempt to prevent another Tom DeLay re-redistricting fiasco continues to fall short. His Senate Bill 315 would take congressional redistricting out of the hands of the Legislature and give it to a nine-member appointed committee (four Demo­crats, four Republicans, and a ninth appointed by the other eight). It takes two-thirds support to bring the bill to the floor for debate, but Wentworth says he has only 20 senators in his corner, one short of the magic number. On Monday he offered an amendment to make it more palatable to holdout Republicans but finally pulled the bill back down. "I'll keep trying every day until it looks like I have the votes," said Wentworth, who's been pushing for such a committee since 1993. "I'll wait until either a senator is absent [and thus 20 votes would suffice], or I can persuade someone to change their mind."

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