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Questions Arise on Alternative Maps as Special Session Begins

Members of the Texas House were gaveled in this morning for the first full day of a special session on redistricting, after the Senate started last night. 

Gov. Rick Perry called lawmakers to a 30-day session Monday evening specifically to address the Texas House, Senate and Congressional maps. These were drawn by federal judges and used in the 2012 elections. A federal court ruled that maps drawn by Texas lawmakers in 2011 didn’t comply with the Voting Rights Act.

Today, State Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, was appointed to chair a committee on redistricting.

"The issue will be do any alternative maps and or amendments to the maps we have in place, do they comply with the Governor’s call?"

Democrats say they will consider introducing new maps, but whether that conflicts with the Governor’s call to consider the federal ones remains unclear.

The chair of the Senate redistricting committee is State Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo. A Senate hearing for public testimony will take place this Thursday at the Capitol, and the House has hearings set for Friday and Saturday.