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The following is a collection of news and notes from your State Capitol involving issues that affect House District 32.
TEXAS CENSUS NUMBERS RELEASED
On February 17th the United States Census Bureau released the population numbers for the State of Texas. The information was obtained during the 2010 Census. The State of Texas’ population increased from 20,851,820 in 2000 to 25,145,581 in 2010, accounting for a twenty percent increase or 4,293,761 new Texans. As a result of the population increase the state has seen over the past ten years, Texas’ representation in Congress has also increased from thirty two Congressmen to thirty six Congressmen. This is a gain of four seats, this resulted in the State of Texas gaining more Congressional seats than any other state in the country.
The increase in the state’s population along with the migration of people throughout the states requires that every ten years the states redraw their Congressional, State Senate, and State House seats. Due to the increase, Texas’ Congressional Representatives will now represent 698,488 individuals in their districts. While population growth allows Texas to receive more Congressional seats, the Texas Senate and Texas House seats remain constant. The Texas Senate being made up of thirty one Senators will now ideally represent 811,147 Texans, while the Texas House being composed of hundred and fifty Representatives will now ideally represent 167,637 Texans. In the coming months, the Texas Senate and the Texas House will be working in earnest to redraw the state’s legislative map.
TEXAS HOUSE LIMITED BY SIXTY DAY RULE
Every two years the Texas Legislature meets for 140 days straight. In those 140 days the Texas Legislature will work on numerous issues, but just a select few are allowed to be addressed in the first sixty days of session. Only those issues that have been designated as emergency items by the Governor are eligible to be addressed during the first sixty days. For this session, Governor Rick Perry has designated the some of the following issues as emergency items:
• Voter Identification – addressing the issuing of requiring the use of a photo ID, in order to vote on election day.
• Eminent Domain – would seek to protect the rights of private property owners.
• Sonogram – would seek to require that a women view a sonogram before receiving an abortion.
• Sanctuary Cites – seeks to abolishing sanctuary cities in the State of Texas.
TEXAS SENATE PASSES OUT SONOGRAM BILL
On February 17th, the Texas Senate in a 21-10 vote passed out Senate Bill (SB) 16 otherwise known as the “Sonogram Bill”. SB 16 as it passed out of the Senate will require that a woman seeking to have an abortion have a sonogram preformed within two hours of the procedure. Under the Sonogram bill, doctors will have the ability to provide pregnant women with the option to view the images of the sonogram along with listening to the audio of the heartbeat. SB 16 has now been sent to the Texas House of Representatives.
If you have questions or comments regarding any of the information mentioned in this article or any bills which have been filed, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).