HBA-KDB H.B. 150 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 150 By: Jones, Delwin Redistricting 4/5/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Section 28, Article III, Texas Constitution, requires that the legislature apportion the state into senate and representative districts following the release of the federal decennial census. Additionally, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution state legislative districts must be substantially equal in population. This is sometimes referred to as the one-person, one-vote principle. Further refinement of this principle has led to the creation of the so-called 10 percent rule for legislative districts. If the difference between the population of largest and smallest districts in a legislative redistricting plan is less than 10 percent, the state is not required to provide further justification for the difference in a court challenge under the one-person, onevote principle. If the difference in population of the largest and smallest districts in the plan is more than 10 percent, a justification is required. Courts have been unwilling to accept any justification when the difference between the largest and smallest districts exceeds 20 percent. On March 12, 2001, the state received the census data for the 2000 federal census. Based on the total statewide population of 20,851,820, the ideal population of a representative district is 139,012. In the current house plan based on the 2000 census the largest house district (District 47) has a population of 224,330, or 61.37% over the ideal district. The smallest house district (District 77) has a population of 104,998, or 24.47% less than the ideal district. The total range of deviation between the largest and smallest districts is 85.84%. As new census data was not available prior to the 60th day of the legislative session, the deadline for filing general bills, House Bill 150 provides a means for implementing new house districts as required by the Texas Constitution after the release of the census. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS House Bill 150 provides that the districts from which the members of the Texas House of Representatives are elected are the same as the districts from which the house members of the 77th Legislature were elected, with a few modifications. The bill provides that territory from three existing house districts (Districts 19, 61, and 73) is transferred to three other existing house districts (Districts 22, 62, and 81, respectively). While the three changes listed in SECTION 2 of the bill do not constitute a complete redistricting bill that would satisfy the legislature's duty to perform redistricting, the bill as introduced provides a vehicle that can be used to implement a new plan for house districts now that census data is available. EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001.