AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Senate is drawing lots to see which senators' terms will expire in two years or four years.
It's a once-a-decade exercise that happens after redistricting forces all 31 senators to stand for election in the same year. Drawing lots allows the senators to have staggered terms for the next 10 years.
The senators drew envelopes with pieces of paper numbered one to 31 from a large glass bowl at the front of the chamber. Odd numbers meant four-year terms, even numbers meant two-year terms.
The draw includes the currently vacant Houston district previously held by the late Sen. Mario Gallegos, who died shortly before the 2012 general election. Republicans hold a 19-12 majority in the Senate.