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No Metro redistricting for now

Back in January there was a Chron story that pointed out a state law that would require the Metro board to add two more members if the non-Houston population of Metro’s service area made up 75% or more of the total. Metro did a study to see what the Census data said, and it concluded that the threshold had not been met.

Preliminary 2010 census data suggested that more than 70 percent of Harris County’s non-Houston residents lived within Metro’s service area.

If the non-Houston population were to hit 75 percent, Metro would have to add two new seats to the Metro board, according to the Texas Transportation Code.

The state code says that, if the 75-percent threshold is reached, Harris County Commissioners Court appoints another board member and the board itself names an 11th member, who becomes the chairman.

According to [UH political science professor Richard] Murray’s report, 67 percent of Harris County residents who live outside Houston are in Metro’s jurisdiction.

Dr. Murray, as we know, has been busy working with HISD, HCC, and Harris County on their redistricting plans, so it’s safe to say he’s familiar with this data. Nonetheless, the Metro board at the request of one of its members voted to have AG Greg Abbott review the results, just in case. Most likely, this will be the end of it until the next Census. Dr. Murray’s report is here, and Metro’s blog has more.

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