Senate to begin debate on district boundaries

John Kennedy | Palm Beach Post | 10/27/2015

Florida senators today are slated to begin debate on new boundaries for their election districts — which in Palm Beach County will shrink the number of state senators from four to three.

Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, would lose the sliver of north county that he currently holds and move into a Treasure Coast district under the plan advanced by Redistricting Chairman Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, a Negron ally in a leadership fight that is clouding the latest line-drawing.

Negron’s rival for the powerful post of Senate president next year, Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, took the unusual step of testifying before Galvano’s committee last week, condemning the proposed boundaries as certain to be rejected by Florida’s courts, which are overseeing the Legislature’s redistricting attempts.

Lawmakers are in a three-week special session — scheduled to continue until Nov. 6 — to redraw 2012 Senate boundaries under a legal settlement with the Florida League of Women Voters, Common Cause and other groups.

A final Senate vote may not come until Wednesday. And the House isn’t scheduled to take up the revamped Senate boundaries until next week.

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