Texas to leap forward in Congress

Vince Coglianese Contributor

AUSTIN (AP) — Texas is poised to gain more congressional seats than any other state when the U.S. Census Bureau releases key population figures for reapportionment.

The data being released Tuesday will likely show Texas gaining three or four new seats in the U.S. House, an increase that figures to lead the nation regardless. A heavy influx of new residents — many of whom are Hispanics — sparked the gains in the nation’s second-largest state.

Although Texas Republicans fortified their already strong hold on the state Legislature with landslide victories in the November election, they won’t have unchecked authority to draw the state’s congressional map.

Under the Voting Rights Act, the state must have its congressional map cleared by the federal government to assure minority rights are protected.