A key state senator floated a last-ditch effort Thursday to strike a compromise with the House on new congressional districts, while voting-rights groups that challenged the current congressional map called for the Florida Supreme Court to take over the process.
The Florida Supreme Court has given the state Senate until the end of the week to respond to move by the House that would allow a circuit judge to consider congressional redistricting plans from both legislative chambers and other parties in a long-running lawsuit.
The House headed to court Monday as the next step in a heated battle with the Senate over how to redraw Florida’s 27 congressional districts.
The bitter budget battle between the state’s House and Senate ended costing Florida taxpayers more than half a million dollars.
Senate leaders crafting new districts for the chamber in 2012 held confidential meetings to discuss maps with lawmakers before the maps were made public, while at the same time boasting about “the most open and transparent redistricting process in Florida’s history,” according to court documents.
The Florida Senate has approved a congressional redistricting plan but will need to work out differences with the House before ending a special legislative session.
A bill filed in the state Senate could help lead to doctors and patients entering “direct primary care agreements” that would cut out insurers.
After rejecting a proposal by Sarasota County lawmakers, the Florida House appears poised Tuesday to approve a congressional redistricting plan that seeks to align with an order from the state Supreme Court.
The Florida House is moving ahead with a substantial overhaul of the state’s 27 congressional districts even though U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown criticized the move, stating it would disenfranchise black voters.
Florida lawmakers will hold a special session in October to redraw Senate districts, Senate President Andy Gardiner and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli announced Tuesday afternoon.