AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas legislators late Monday night finalized a Republican-crafted congressional map, sending it to Gov. Greg Abbott for his signature.
Senate Bill 6 officially cleared both the Senate and the House following a last-minute trip through a conference committee to settle differences that arose over the weekend between the two chambers.
The Senate adopted the conference committee’s report shortly before 9 p.m. Monday by a vote of 18-13. The House adopted it around 10:30 p.m. with a vote of 84-59.
The map increases the number of Texas seats in the U.S. House from 36 to 38. The state gained two districts (including Austin’s new District 37) due to population growth reflected in the 2020 U.S. Census, growth that was fueled by minorities, mostly Latinos.
Democrats have blasted the map, saying its gerrymandering will dilute the voting power and representation of minority populations despite the census data. The map is already facing a legal challenge from Latino groups.
The Republican chair of the senate special committee on redistricting, Sen. Joan Huffman, has maintained the maps were drawn with a “color blind” approach and meet all legal requirements.
Redistricting was one of Abbott’s top priorities for the current third special session, set to end Tuesday.