TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida lawmakers are headed back to Tallahassee to redraw the state’s congressional maps.
Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed the maps passed by the legislature during its regular session and called for a special legislative session to draw them again.
DeSantis promised to veto the maps weeks ago and followed up on that promise Tuesday.
The issue comes down to North and Central Florida. DeSantis wants the maps drawn in a specific way, something he made clear when he took the unprecedented step of drawing his own.
DeSantis’ map could flip two congressional districts currently held by Black Democrats.
Now, lawmakers are headed back to work with two options: give the governor what he wants, or pass the maps they drew initially.
Florida gained a new seat in the U.S. House thanks to population gains reflected in the latest census.
Republicans are working to expand their lead in Florida, and the number of seats they pick up will depend largely on where the lines are drawn.
Some estimates say republicans will win 16 of Florida’s 28 seats in the next election, but they could expand that to 18, depending on the maps that are approved.
A statement issued by Florida Senate President and Speaker of the House Wilton Simpson (R-Spring Hill) outlined a post-Easter special session to redraw the maps.
“We’ll be able to come back in and get this across the finish line,” Simpson’s statement said.
If they can’t, the legislature could override the Governor’s veto with a two-thirds vote in each chamber.
More likely, new maps will have to be drawn, and experts agree, lawsuits will follow.
Florida’s State Constitution requires what’s known as “Fair Districts” meaning any aggressive gerrymander will be challenged in court. There are also federal considerations for minority access.
The Special Legislative Session is scheduled to convene at noon Tuesday, April 19, and end before midnight Friday, April 22.
Read the full legal memorandum supporting the governor’s decision below:
Read the full proclamation calling for a special session below:
©2022 Cox Media Group