Bill Day's latest: Will Florida's redistricting monster survive?

Phil Ammann | Saint Peter Blog | 08/20/2015

On Tuesday, the Republican-controlled Florida House approved a “base map” of new congressional districts by a 76-35 vote – setting the stage for yet another battle royale with the Senate.

For their part, senators can expect to vote this week on a version of the map that appears vastly different from the House proposal.

And so it goes in the Florida Legislature, as documented by political cartoonist Bill Day.

The Florida Supreme Court ordered lawmakers back to work after finding they violated the state’s constitutional ban on gerrymandered districts, giving them 100 days to go literally back to the drawing board.

The court’s decision – a critical ruling declaring the process infected by partisanship — came as little surprise to many, with perhaps the exception of Republicans themselves.

With much ballyhoo, several GOP state lawmakers vociferously objected to the ruling; with House Speaker Steve Crisafulli echoing many in Florida’s Capitol by saying he believed the court overstepped its authority.

This comes in light of voter-approved standards in 2010 that intended to prevent legislative or congressional districts drawn to benefit an incumbent or political party.

Nevertheless, Floridians (most of them, at any rate) never expected this outcome: a piecemeal mashup of two parties, using a recipe heavy on gerrymandering.

Now is the time for lawmakers to repent. Or, at the very least, redraw.

Enter Day’s Frankenstein-like political monster.

“This is our good-faith effort in doing that,” Crisafulli told The Associated Press about the House’s newly re-re-drawn maps.

But will the monster survive, Day wonders.

This most recent Special Session is set to end Friday, but not before an epic map battle (geography geeks rejoice!) with the Senate making substantial alterations to Central Florida and the Tampa Bay region.

At this point, only time will tell.

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