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The Florida Senate signs off on DeSantis' congressional map and bill to end Disney self-government

Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, reviews proposed district maps
Phil Sears
Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, reviews proposed district maps during a Committee on Reapportionment meeting, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, at the Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla.

The Republican-led Senate voted along party lines, and they how go to the House for full approval.

A new congressional map submitted by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office that will likely swing Florida’s representation in Washington even further to the GOP has been approved by the state Senate.

The Senate also has passed a bill to repeal a law allowing Walt Disney World to operate a private government over its properties in the state.

Wednesday's 24-15 vote on the congressional map was split on party lines.

Democrats argued the governor’s office gerrymandered the map to benefit Republicans, while also making it more difficult for Black voters to elect Black representatives.

Republicans rejected that argument and said the maps were constitutional.

The House is expected to send the map back to the governor on Thursday, ending, for now, a process prolonged by DeSantis’ veto of the maps the Legislature originally sent him.

The map will be challenged in court.

The Senate also approved the bill on special districts, escalating a feud with the entertainment giant over its opposition to what critics call the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

The proposal could have huge tax implications for Disney, whose series of theme parks have over the decades transformed Orlando into one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.

Democrats have warned that the move could cause local homeowners to get hit with big tax bills.

The House is also expected to take up the bill Thursday.