Lawmaker Wants Talks To Start On New Congressional District Map

May 7, 2019

If an effort to delay the order to draw a new map doesn't go through, lawmakers could be in a time crunch.

State lawmakers have been ordered to draw up a new map of Congressional districts for next year’s election by June 14, now that a panel of judges says the current map is unconstitutionally gerrymandered. But that's right in the middle of the state budget timeline.

Longtime Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) was on the bipartisan working group that came up with a proposal to change the way Congressional districts are drawn, which voters approved last year.

Cera said the budget is the top priority for lawmakers now because it needs to be completed by the end of June. But he’s worried that they’ll also have to start drawing that new map right in the middle of that.

“I think we should start discussing it, because if the court would not grant the stay and we have to move forward, that’s a little over a month to have something resolved," Cera said.

Cera said the first thing he voted on when he was appointed to the House in 2011 was the disputed map, and he was one of 21 Democrats who voted for it. But he says he now has reservations about that.