With grudging support, a Florida Senate panel approved a plan Friday that would put all 40 seats in the chamber on the ballot in 2016. The panel passed a new map redrawing district boundaries and renumbering all the districts. Under normal circumstances, only the 20 senators with odd-numbered districts would be up for election next year. That was a point of contention among members earlier in the week when Senate lawyers suggested senators whose districts shift wouldn’t have to seek re-election. But the new map still faces other objections from senators and possibly tough sledding when it goes to the Senate floor next week.
The map passed by a 4-3 vote, with Democrats on the panel voting against it. But Republicans also voiced grave doubts about the plan.
Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, voted for the map but said it didn’t address the issues of those challenging the districts in court. He called that “defiant” and “recalcitrant.”
“I just want us to restore in this process a little public confidence that this institution has learned its lesson,” Lee said.