TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida lawmakers will soon head back to Tallahassee to address the state’s redistricting maps.
The Florida Legislature presented its effort to adjust the state’s political maps to the governor. It’s a normal process for how bills become laws, but following the reapportionment of congressional seats by the U.S. Census, Florida had to redraw its maps.
At an event announcing a new federal lawsuit against the U.S. government over a public transportation mask mandate, Gov. Ron DeSantis also said he had vetoed the current version of the legislature’s redistricting maps, and would call for a special legislative session on the topic Tuesday afternoon. The governor had already promised to veto the plan twice in the past month.
The need for a new map came after the U.S. Census assigned an extra seat in Congress to Florida due to its big population growth. The change in map also comes for local legislative districts, affecting the Florida House and Senate.
The version of the maps submitted by the Florida Legislature were in Senate Bill 102. It was presented to the governor sometime before the Tuesday cabinet meeting with other state leaders. DeSantis said after the cabinet meeting he believed the political mapping process had been wrong and praised the state’s general counsel for their accompanying message with his rejection of the plan.
“Prior to coming into this press conference, I officially vetoed the congressional redistricting map as I said that I would. So we have a veto message that we have attached a stellar memo by our general counsel, Ryan Newman, who lays out what he has been saying from the very beginning, as to why the approach the legislature took was defective in their, I guess understandable zeal,” DeSantis said. “With what they believe the Florida constitution required, they forgot to make sure what they were doing complied with the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution. And I think that this is a very very cogent analysis of the problems. Later this afternoon, I will be announcing a proclamation to do a special legislative session.”
In a joint statement, Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls told lawmakers to be prepared to return to Tallahassee April 19 through April 22 to handle the state’s congressional maps before the coming elections in November.