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00000175-b316-d35a-a3f7-bbdeff690001Agenda Texas is KUT's weekly report on the Texas Legislative session. Each week we'll take a deeper look into the policies being considered and explain what they could mean for you and your life. From transportation to education to the environment and everything in between.It's KUT's political podcast that lets you know what's happening under the dome and explains how it hits home.

Agenda Texas: Redistricting Never a Quick Fix

Illustration by Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

It was supposed to end last Monday.

After 140 days, lawmakers were supposed to pack up and head home. Instead we’re now a week into a special legislative session on congressional and legislative redistricting.

It was a week some thought might be the last for a short special session. But there's nothing quick or easy about redistricting.

"Redistricting turns out to be about as easy as taking apart your dad's watch," Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey said. "Get it all apart it's really really hard to put it back together."

Governor Rick Perry made a point of setting the session's agenda to only allow for lawmakers to vote on the legislative and congressional maps drawn by a federal court in San Antonio. But lawmakers quickly dismissed his authority to limit what specific maps could be voted on. Once other maps were on the table, things got complicated. Ramsey said not everybody was behind the idea of quickly coming in and passing the court drawn maps.

"Everybody else was saying some version of, well I'll only ratify the maps if this changes or if this condition's met, or if they fiddle with that district," Ramsey said.

But taking extra time to finalize new maps doesn't necessarily mean there won't be time for addition subjects during the extra 30-day session. Drawing new maps will be limited to those on the House and Senate redistricting committees. Everyone else can spend time on things like transportation or abortion or school vouchers.

Ben Philpott is the Managing Editor for KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @BenPhilpottKUT.
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