With time winding down, the redistricting ball is back in the Senate’s court, after a divided House voted 73-47 Tuesday on its own proposal to redraw 40 Senate districts. The House and Senate have until Friday, the scheduled end of the special session, to work out the differences in their maps and avoid another costly stalemate over redrawing political boundaries. Eight Republicans joined all 39 Democrats in voting against the map. The move sends the redistricting plan back to the Senate, which passed its own version last week. The differing plans increase the odds that another redistricting special session will end in stalemate without a final map passing both chambers.
In August, Senate redistricting chairman Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, walked away from talks with Rep. Jose Oliva, R-Miami, to work out a compromise on redrawing 27 congressional districts, effectively ending that special session.
House and Senate lawyers ended up arguing against each other in court. Oral arguments in the congressional case are scheduled for next week before the Florida Supreme Court.
On Tuesday, the redistricting déjà vu led Democrats to assail the process and GOP colleagues for wasting time and taxpayer money. So far, redistricting efforts have cost taxpayers about $11 million, much of that in attorney’s fees. “It feels like we’re stuck in the ‘Groundhog Day’ movie,” said Rep. Lori Berman, D-Lantana.