“We don’t have a lot of constitutional obligations,” Bell said. “We have to have a balanced budget; we have to call sessions into order; and on census years we have to do redistricting.”
Bell's district, Texas House District 3, covers all of Waller County and parts of southeast and southwest Montgomery County. Under the new map, Bell said he will lose his 56,000 constituents of Waller County as well as voting precincts 39 and 11 in Montgomery County, which is south of the city of Montgomery.
Bell said he will pick up some constituents from The Woodlands, including in voting precincts 3 and 6. The Magnolia and Pinehurst communities will still be in District 3, according to the maps approved by the Legislature.
While there were some changes in House districts, Bell said there were more significant adjustments for the Senate districts.
“The Senate probably changed more than most of us wanted to,” Bell said. “It certainly changed a lot more than the house.”
In the maps approved following the 2010 census, Montgomery County is represented by two Senate districts—districts 3 and 4. With the 2020 redistricting, District 18 and District 7 will also represent part of the county, while District 3 will no longer cover the county, the new maps show.
Most of the Magnolia area will now be in District 18, represented by state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, Bell said. The area is currently represented by Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe.
For congressional maps, Bell said Magnolia and most of north Montgomery County will still be in the 8th Congressional District, held by U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, who is retiring in 2022, Community Impact Newspaper previously reported. Bell said he will not be running for the open seat and plans to run for re-election in his Texas House District 3.
Bell said other parts of the county, such as The Woodlands and parts of Conroe, will now be in the 2nd Congressional District, held by U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Houston.
Bell said the new maps will not take effect until the general election in November 2022. For constituent services, residents should continue to contact their current representatives, Bell said.
Bell also discussed multiple pieces of legislation passed during the 86th legislative session. Bell will host a second town hall meeting Nov. 9 at the Magnolia ISD Event Center, located at 11659 FM 1488, Magnolia, from 6-7:30 p.m.
Residents can visit dvr.capitol.texas.gov to view detailed redistricting maps the Legislature approved.