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Local representative slams district maps passed by Texas Senate

State Sen. Roland Gutierrez tells KENS 5 he feels the maps passed by the Texas Senate are gerrymandering Black and Latino voters.

SAN ANTONIO — Local lawmakers say they are not giving up a fight over the redrawing of political maps.

Friday, the Texas State Senate approved a new congressional district map, which Democrats say breaks up blocks of Latino and Black voters.

The battle over district lines in Texas is playing out how many expected.

“Redistricting in a state like Texas, which is controlled in a partisan manner, it’s coming down to partisan politics,” Jon Taylor, UTSA political science professor and chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography says what he’s seeing are examples of cracking and packing.

“You’re cracking districts that have been either Democrat and or people of color. And what’s happening is those are getting cracked and moved into different areas, so that suddenly a district that was safely democratic has now been split,” Taylor said.

On Friday, the state senate committee approved three new map proposals for district maps including Congress, the Texas Senate and the State Board of Education.

The republican drawn districts were celebrated by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick who on Friday said in a statement, “the congressional district map that the Texas Senate passed today is both legal and fair.”

Texas state senator Roland Gutierrez, whose district includes the San Antonio area

“You don’t need to be a political scientist or a mathematician or a politician to even understand how these districts are gerrymandered,” Sen. Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez says while his party is in the minority—he expects different voting rights groups to file lawsuits over the maps.

Taylor says with the state’s population growth largely coming from Hispanic and Latino voters—he believes the GOP may be trying to make short term gains.

‘This is for the next 10 years, Republicans are doing their best to try and protect the majority for as long as possible, recognizing fully the state is changing politically,” Taylor said.