Lawmakers will turn their eyes toward East Texas during a Redistricting Committee hearing Thursday.

The House Redistricting Committee is set to meet at 10 a.m. or upon final adjournment of the House and will hear a report from the state demographer about population trends in Texas as well as testimony from members of the public.

“This is an important opportunity for East Texas residents to share their input on redistricting and how it may affect their communities,” said Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, who is chairman of the committee. “Our committee looks forward to hearing from people of East Texas during this hearing and throughout the redistrict process.”

Texas who want to testify for the hearing must have registered by 10 a.m. Wednesday. Registration is open at https://tinyurl.com/RedistrictEastTexas.

State Rep. Travis Clardy, R-Nacogdoches, has said redistricting would likely be taken up in a special session in October.

The Texas Legislature is required to meet for 140 days every two years. Constitutionally, they are only required to pass a budget, and every 10 years they draw new congressional and state legislative maps. The new maps are to ensure that all districts have roughly the same amount of people.

During redistricting, members of the House and Senate redraw the maps for their own respective chambers. They meet in joint session to redraw federal maps. This year, Texas is expected to pick up three seats in the U.S. House because of population growth.

The process is expected to be contentious. Redistricting typically includes political and legal fights over who is empowered and which voters’ voice is diluted.

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