Senate Passes Different Maps

Matt Galka | News Service of Florida | 08/19/2015

The Florida Senate moved forward with a new congressional voting map Wednesday as they enter the home stretch of a special session, but as Matt Galka tells us, it sets up a two day scramble to try and end session on time.

The Florida Senate was poised to pass their own version of a congressional map Wednesday. It was a day after the state House blasted the Supreme Court’s order for new maps and approved a base map.

“This map was a base map for discussion purposes. A discussion map, it was not intended to be a final product. I know my leadership well enough that if I was called up enough simply to rubber stamp a map drawn by staff, they would have told me,” said Sen. Tom Lee (R-Brandon).

Sen. Audrey Gibson (D-Jacksonville) tried a last minute tweak to change North Florida’s District 5 which previously ran from Jackonsville to Orlando but would now run from Jacksonville 200 miles west into Leon County.

“It’s not about the snaking or the squaring or the rounding of any district, it’s about the people who live within that district,” she said.

The amendment failed, but differences in both chamber’s maps remain. The Senate’s version splits Hilsborough county into two district. The base map divided up the area into four.

“The bill that you are about to vote on represents a map that is more constitutionally compliant, has greater hereto compliance than any map from this legislature or filed in the judicial precedings,” said Redistricting Chair Sen. Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton).

The two map versions means the sides will now have to come to an agreement before the week ends.

“Hopefully we can convince the House that the modifications in the Senate committee improve the maps performance constitutionally,” said Galvano

Florida’s second special session of the year is scheduled to end Friday. Both sides need to come to an agreement on a map for that to happen.

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