House lawmakers will get another day to pore over redistricting maps, after Democratic members vehemently opposed an effort to change the deadline for submitting amendments.
Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi and chairman of the House Calendars Committee, originally proposed moving the deadline to submit amendments for the redistricting bill, HB 150, by one day, from Thursday at 8 p.m. to Friday at 5 p.m. But Democratic lawmakers fired back that they intend to back in their districts for the Easter holiday, and won't have ample time to review the amendments.
Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston, introduced a substitute motion to move the deadline to 5 p.m. Monday so lawmakers would not be forced to choose between Good Friday and filing or reviewing amendments. Dutton said Hunter's motion will limit the ability of House members to participate, and that an extra two days will do nothing to those who support the bill.
Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, said in the past, legislators have gotten a holiday from Thursday through Monday during Easter weekend. "Why the rush?" Turner asked.
Hunter tabled the motion, causing lawmakers to meet at the dais. Following the meeting, Dutton and Hunter withdrew their motions. Hunter then moved to place the redistricting bill on Wednesday's calendar and change the deadline to file amendments to 5 p.m. Monday. It passed unanimously.