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The Nation

Texans Still at a Stalemate

August 27, 2003|From Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — The Legislature on Tuesday adjourned its second special session of the year without passing a congressional redistricting bill, nearly a month after Senate Democrats broke a quorum by fleeing to New Mexico to block the bill.

GOP Gov. Rick Perry said he would call yet another special session to try to get approval for new congressional boundaries.

"When I call that session is strictly up to me, and I'll give the appropriate notice on the appropriate day," Perry said.

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, chairwoman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, has said the Democrats who went to New Mexico are ready to stay away another 30 days if needed.

Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst sent a warning Tuesday to the Democrats.

"The mood in the Senate is changing.... We're tired of sitting here and waiting," Dewhurst said. "It is in our 11 colleagues' best interest to come back sooner rather than later."

He would not offer details on how the stalemate could be resolved, but said: "I did lay out a specific new proposal to our Democrat senators yesterday."

The Democrats said they had not heard an offer that would bring them back.

The Democrats have said that the current map should not be changed, and that proposals before the GOP-dominated Legislature this year would have hurt minority representation.

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