HBA-KDB H.B. 722 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 722 By: Jones, Delwin Redistricting 4/6/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The United States Supreme Court has ruled that under the federal constitution congressional districts must be as equal in population under the current census as practicable. This is sometimes referred to as the oneperson, one-vote principle. Further interpretation of this principle has found that even a deviation of less than 1% between the population of the largest and smallest districts in a congressional redistricting plan may be too large to survive judicial scrutiny. 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 congressional district is 651,619. In the current congressional plan based on the 2000 census the largest congressional district (District 26) has a population of 845,541 or almost 30% over the ideal district. The smallest congressional district (District 13) has a population of 597,401, or over 8% less than the ideal district. The total range of deviation between the largest and smallest districts is over 35%. House Bill 722 provides a means for implementing new congressional districts that comply with the population equality standards imposed by the federal constitution. 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 722 provides that the districts from which the members of the United States House of Representatives from the State of Texas are elected are the same as the districts from which the members of the House of Representatives from the State of Texas for the 107th Congress were elected, with a few modifications. The bill provides that territory from four existing congressional districts (Districts 2, 11, 19, and 13) is transferred to four other existing house districts (Districts 1, 17, 13 and 19, respectively). While the four 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.