With one day left in a special session to redraw congressional district maps, the Florida House and Senate seem as far apart as ever. The House on Thursday received the Senate’s redistricting plan but voted instead to largely keep their base map. The tweaks they made would keep the cities of Riviera Beach and Sunrise wholly within a single congressional district, unlike the original map. As with previous maps, the new map calls for districts 21 and 22 in Broward and Palm Beach counties to be stacked on top of each other rather than run side by side as they currently do. The new House map was approved 60-38, with 22 absentees.
The process is ongoing in Tallahassee because the Florida Supreme Court found that the previous congressional districts had been drawn to benefit incumbents and the Republican Party, which is illegal under the Fair Districts state constitutional amendments passed in 2010.
Senate redistricting committee chair Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, met Wednesday with Rep. Jose Oliva, R-Miami, the House redistricting committee chair.
Oliva said, “in that meeting, he explained the changes made to the base map. Among those changes were two cities that were made whole.” Taking a cue from that, Oliva had legislative staff tinker with the map to make four cities whole — Riviera Beach, Sunrise, and Groveland and Auburndale in Central Florida.