The Republican-led Florida Senate rejected Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposal to redraw the state’s congressional maps to give the party an even bigger advantage, Politico reports.
DeSantis became the first Florida governor in modern history to submit his own redistricting proposal.
The state Senate’s proposed maps would create 16 Republican-favored seats and 12 Democratic-favored seats while DeSantis’ would create 18 Republican-leaning seats.
DeSantis’ map would also eliminate two of the state’s four districts with large Black populations.
“We have submitted an alternative proposal, which we can support, that adhere to federal and state requirements and addresses our legal concerns, while working to increase district compactness, minimize county splits where feasible, and protect minority voting populations,” DeSantis’ office said, which some lawmakers viewed as a veiled veto threat.
The state Senate ignored DeSantis’ map and overwhelmingly passed their own draft on Thursday.
The Republican-dominated legislature rarely breaks with DeSantis.
Senate Redistricting Chair Ray Rodrigues dismissed DeSantis’ concerns that its map could raise legal issues.
“It is my belief this map will withstand a court challenge,” he said.
The chamber approved the maps in a 31-4 vote, with most Democrats supporting it, and approved a separate new state Senate map in a 34-3 vote.
The state House still has to agree on the maps, though their process is not as far along as the Senate.
It’s unclear what map the House wants to go with. The chamber is looking at maps that are closely aligned with the Senate’s as well as ones closer to DeSantis’ proposal.
The Fair Districts Coalition sent a letter to House redistricting chief Tom Leek warning that DeSantis’ proposal does not include information necessary under the process.
“In reviewing the submission, we were astonished to find that the Redistricting Suggestion Form submitted with the Governor’s map does not provide vital information that every other person is required to provide if they want to submit a map,” read the letter. “Specifically, Florida citizens who wish to submit a map must provide a list with ‘the name of every person(s), group(s), or organization(s) [they] collaborated with on [their] . . . submitted map’. The Governor and his staff have failed to comply with this requirement.”