Redistricting passes House

According to Byron, the State House has apparently managed to scrape up a quorum, and almost immediately afterwards passed redistricting bill HB1 (2) by a 75-26 margin, with one member voting “present”. I suppose this has to be the same House bill that the Senate pooped on last session – how else could it have gotten out of committee so fast? – but I can’t say for sure just yet. Here is the bill, as noted by Rob. I’ll try to find a map later.

Meanwhile, the Chron has an article on Sen. Ken Armbrister, the lone Democrat to remain in Austin (with the apparent blessing of his colleagues), and an article on the House Dems, who are expressing their solidarity with their Senate colleagues. The Statesman has a timeline from yesterday and an update on the Burnam lawsuit. Other newspapers are still reporting that the House did not have a quorum today. I expect they’ll catch up soon.

UPDATE: The Chron confirms that the House passed the same bill that the Senate rejected in the first session.

[A]t about 12:55 p.m., the House had the necessary 100 members to restore the quorum and get back to work. Then 20 minutes later, at 1:15 p.m., the House agreed to suspend all rules and passed a congressional redistricting bill on final reading without referring it to a committee first. The bill is the same one the House passed in the first special session.

That means the issue now goes to the Senate for consideration, but there has been no quorum in that chamber since Monday, when 11 Democratic senators fled to Albuquerque, N.M., to block any effort to pass a redistricting bill this session.

Stupid question: given that the House bill is no more likely to pass the Senate in this session than it was last session even if the Dems come back, wouldn’t it make more sense for them to either pass the Staples bill from last session or to draw up another bill? What exactly have they gained from this, other than the ability to adjourn and say they did their piece? Assuming, of course, that Craddick et al are willing to let any of the Dems who are currently present out of their sight.

My head hurts.

UPDATE: More on the House bill, how it passed so quickly, and reaction from House Dems, who appear to be ready to head home.

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3 Responses to Redistricting passes House

  1. phil says:

    Byron’s site appears to be down. Maybe his ISP has fled to Albuquerque. 🙂

  2. PG says:

    It’s back up now.

  3. etc. says:

    This could be a brilliant bit of strategery on the House Dems’ part. The bill passed in the house is the same as the one they passed last time, which the Senate balked at. Now all the House Dems go back home, saying “we passed the doggone thing twice, what more do you want?” This conviently makes them unavailable to pass a new bill, one that the Senate might approve of.

    This strategy takes advantage of the GOP’s short sightedness in rushing the same old go nowhere bill through the House. If the GOP was smart, they would have produced a new bill where they could argue that the Senate Dems were refusing to consider it. As it stands now, the Senate Dems can only be accused of not considering a bill that they considered long and hard not a month ago, and rejected.

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