Population Boom Means Additional Seats for TX in US House

Bob and Maggie Taliaferro
Bob and Maggie Taliaferro
Texas State Senator Kel Seliger
Texas State Senator Kel Seliger

by: Kristen Guilfoos
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - Texans could soon have more representation in Washington. It's all thanks to a record-breaking population boom.

More Americans moved to the Lone Star State this year than to any other state in America, bringing our total population to 24.8 million people.

Bob and Maggie Taliaferro moved to Amarillo from Tulsa earlier this year, making them among the 478,000 new residents who now call Texas home. "To be the new priest at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, so continued gainful employment for me."

They're not alone in relocating for work... Economists speculate the relatively steady job market and low unemployment rate are what's bringing folks like the Taliaferro's to Texas. And with all of those additional residents comes additional representation in Washington... Possibly four extra seats in the US House.

Texas State Senator Kel Seliger says, "Those seats will go to urban areas in Texas and maybe to the Rio Grande Valley."

Seliger says, while overall, the extra seats will be beneficial... "There can only be 435 representatives in the US House, so the more of them that come from Texas the better it is for those issues important to Texas, whether it's energy, business development, economic development."

The fact that the new seats will not come from the Panhandle could pose a challenge for elected officials here. "You always run the risk with additional representation in those areas that working on the issues important to rural Texas, agricultural interests become more difficult because the new members will probably be urban."

A final decision on how many extra seats we'll get, plus where the re-districting lines will be drawn is expected in late 2010, early 2011.