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Politics / Issues

Special Session Concludes After Three Days

Lawmakers passed new congressional borders Monday along mostly party lines.
Lawmakers passed new congressional borders Monday along mostly party lines.
Lawmakers passed new congressional borders Monday along mostly party lines.
Credit Jenn Greiving via Wikimedia Commons
Lawmakers passed new congressional borders Monday along mostly party lines.

Florida’s Republican-controlled Legislature has passed new congressional maps largely along party lines.    If Gov. Rick Scott approves them, the new districts will then return to the court where the originals were found unconstitutional.

In just three days, Florida’s special legislative session has come to an end. The Legislature voted Monday to revise the state’s congressional map; the new borders will change seven of the state’s districts.  Leon County circuit judge Terry Lewis ruled two of the previous districts unconstitutional. 

But Democrats in both chambers complain Republicans controlled the process from drafting to final vote.  Rep. Karen Castor Dentel (D-Maitland) is one.

“Nothing really changed in this process this time around which would restore the integrity called into question the first time around,” Castor Dentel says.  ”There was no good faith effort to involve substantive participation from the minority party in redrawing the maps.” Listen here.

The borders passed by Florida's Legislature Monday afternoon.
Credit Florida Senate
The borders passed by Florida's Legislature Monday afternoon.

Rep. Katie Edwards (D-Plantation) pressed Rep. Richard Corcoran (R-Land O' Lakes) about the lack of her party’s involvement.

“With the concerns that we have raised, in hindsight would it have made sense to involve perhaps the minority leader or some democrats in a meeting with you and Galvano to craft the bill that you would bring back to the committee,” Edwards asked.

Corcoran says he is satisfied with the process.

A hearing is scheduled for August 20 where Lewis will consider the map as well as the possibility of holding an election with the new borders this year.

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Special Session Concludes After Three Days