FL State Sen. Ray Rodrigues. Screenshot: The Florida Channel
New maps defining Florida’s House and Senate legislative voting districts are approved and heading to the Florida Supreme Court for review, following a Senate vote Thursday.
The Senate voted 37-0 to approve a new map of 120 House districts that was approved Wednesday in the House on a 77-39 partisan vote. Dissenting House Democrats argued the House had rushed them through with too little time for lawmakers and the public to properly vet them. They also reiterated their belief that Black and Latino voters are underrepresented in the new House maps.
Also on Wednesday, the House approved a new map of 40 Senate districts that was crafted by the Senate, which approved it with just three no votes.
The House and Senate legislative maps are now combined in Joint Resolution 100.
“We can and should be very proud of the work we’ve done here today, and now we’ll see if the courts are equally as proud,” said Senate President Wilton Simpson.
Sen. Ray Rodrigues, a Lee County Republican who chaired the Senate committee on reapportionment, said the maps will be submitted to the Supreme Court within 15 days and the court has 30 days more to rule on their compliance with state and federal voting laws. Rodrigues said the court will receive comments for and against the maps before issuing an opinion on them.
Plans in the two chambers to redraw Florida’s 28 congressional districts – an increase of one due to population growth since the 2010 Census – are on hold, due to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ unusual interjection of a congressional map of his own. DeSantis has requested a Supreme Court advisory on his map, which proposes more Republican-leaning congressional districts than have been proposed by legislators.
The House and Senate are expected to wait for the court’s advisory opinion before proceeding with final negotiations over new congressional districts.
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