Texas lawmakers pass key special session bills
AUSTIN — Texas lawmakers worked toward two of the main goals of the special legislative session on Friday by adopting voting maps and setting out a new sentencing rule for 17-year-olds who commit capital crimes.
The Texas House gave final passage to three bills containing maps for the Texas House, Senate and congressional districts. Gov. Rick Perry initially called the special session to adopt plans drawn by a federal court for the 2012 elections after determining the Legislature's original maps discriminated against minority groups such as blacks and Hispanics.
Voting largely along party lines, the House approved the congressional districts without any changes from 2012, but made tiny tweaks to the maps of their own districts. The groups who sued to block the Legislature's Senate map have agreed to accept the court-drawn map of that chamber's districts, and they are no longer in dispute.