A sharply divided Florida Senate approved a redistricting map Wednesday that left critics predicting it will be rejected by a wary House or struck down by courts. The 22-18 vote included unanimous opposition from Senate Democrats, along with four Republicans. The proposed boundaries, which cut one seat from Palm Beach County, head to the House, which won’t review the plan until next week but has condemned maps earlier drawn by senators. Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, said the plan is doomed on similar grounds, arguing it was designed to protect incumbents and favor ruling Republicans.
“That’s clearly what we did,” said Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth. “Everybody in here knows that, whether they want to say it or not.”
But Senate Redistricting Chairman Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, defended the plan, saying most of the map was crafted by legislative staff shielded from political influence.
Galvano said he was confident the House will conclude the proposal fixes problems with the 2012 Senate boundaries alleged by a voters’ coalition. That challenge led to a legal settlement with the Senate and the current three-week special session to redraw the map. Lawmakers are not set to adjourn until Nov. 6.