Redistricting hearings start in Austin

AUSTIN (AP) — Austin residents are calling on Texas lawmakers to redraw congressional districts so that one representative can be elected from Travis County.

Political maps drawn by the Legislature divided the state Capitol into five congressional districts, none of them based in Austin. A federal court drew a temporary map that maintained that pattern.

Lawmakers are considering adopting the court-drawn maps as the permanent ones. The Senate Redistricting Committee met Thursday in Austin while the House committee was scheduled to hear testimony in Dallas.

Federal judges in Washington said the maps drawn by the Legislature in 2011 intentionally discriminated against minorities. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott wants the Legislature to make the court-drawn maps permanent.

Minority groups say the temporary maps don’t fix all the problems and completely new maps are needed.