At the beginning of the special session, several lawmakers representing some of the districts caught up the redistricting fight requested that the hearings be taken on the road, so that those living in these voting districts had a chance to voice their concerns directly.
House Redistricting Chairman Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, said the first of three field meetings will be in Dallas this Thursday, June 6. The next two meetings will be held on Monday, June 10 in San Antonio and Wednesday, June 12 in Houston.
"What we are trying to hear is specifics about how current districts don’t pass constitutional muster. We want to hear testimony specifically on how districts don’t meet that constitutional muster, what a remedy for that would be and why," Darby said.
Rep. Sefornia Thompson, D-Houston, was one of three Democratic representatives who advocated for the redistricting meetings.
"I wanted to make sure that my constituents, community of interest and that their participation was certainly being impacted in the areas wherever they live," she said.
While Thompson said the interim maps made a significant improvement to her voting district, that hasn’t been the case for all the minority communities of the state.
Darby said the Senate is also considering holding field hearings for the redistricting committee. They will hold a meeting on Friday, June 7 in Corpus Christi, and one Saturday, June 8 in Houston.
With just over three weeks left, Darby is hoping to have the redistricting bills signed into law before needing to return for a second special session.