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Senate redistricting map approved by committee

That didn’t take long.

Rejecting pleas to keep most of Travis County in a single Senate district, the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting [Friday] morning approved a plan that will divide the capital city into four senatorial districts.

The Republican-dominated panel also rejected an amendment to the plan that would have returned Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to the Senate district of Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin.

Instead, the airport was left, as proposed, in the district of Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo.

Committee Chairman Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, said the committee-approved plan will be voted on early next week by the full Senate.

Sure, that makes sense, having a Senator from Laredo represent the Austin airport. Redistricting is just plain weird.

One point to note:

Republicans who control the state Senate hope the plan could help them elect 20 or more senators, cementing their majority status.

Currently, the Senate has 19 Republicans and 12 Democrats. Under Senate rules, 12 members can block legislation.

Actually, it takes 11 members to block legislation, as 20 is less than two thirds of 31. Of course, one of those 11 would be Eddie Lucio, so the Democrats need to have a little slack. As for Republican hopes of getting more than 20 seats, it’s not gonna happen. I won’t be surprised if they decide that 19 votes are more than enough to pass this bill, however. Texas Politics has more.

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