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Politics

Bill Galvano: Senate Committee Could Send Maps to Floor by Monday

October 21, 2015 - 6:00pm
Bill Galvano
Bill Galvano

The Senate Committee on Reapportionment is moving full speed ahead with its new state Senate maps, planning to have a committee vote on a map on Friday and bring it to the floor as early as Monday. 

On Wednesday, the committee continued to discuss the six Senate maps drawn by legislative staffers. As with the state’s congressional maps, the trio of staffers created the maps in private, and did not receive any input from any state lawmakers during the mapmaking process.

The committee also heard from Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, who created his very own map proposal for consideration. Under Clemens’ map, more cities -- 399 -- would be kept whole and in one congressional district, a number slightly higher than the best-case scenario legislative map. 

Clemens’ map would also include a Hillsborough-only African-American district. 

Senators continued to disagree over whether or not they would have to run again if their districts were redrawn -- committee chair Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, insisted lawmakers wouldn’t have to sit for re-election if their districts were redrawn. 

Florida senators serve different four-year terms, with only 20 going up for re-election in 2016, but when redistricting comes into play, all state senators will have to once again run for their respective seats. 

Sen. Tom Lee, R-Bradenton, again pushed back at state lawmakers and Senate attorneys, wondering if the Florida Supreme Court could make a ruling on whether or not lawmakers had to run again.

"We just want to keep wanting to have it both ways,'' he said. "I just feel like every time we get an answer we're living in an alternative universe here. We know what we want the answer to be but it never comes out that way."

Lee has clashed with Senate attorneys early on in the redistricting process, battling with them Monday over why Senate attorneys didn’t object to unconstitutional maps passed by the Senate.

Still, despite some disagreements, Galvano insisted the maps would be brought to a vote on Friday and sent to the Senate floor as early as Monday. 

Special session continues through Nov. 6.

 

Reach Allison Nielsen by email at allison@sunshinestatenews.com

 

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