The House and Senate will hold their first joint committee meeting at 9 a.m. to begin reviewing a proposed base redistricting map to replace the one the Florida Supreme Court has ruled is unconstitutional.
Missing In Action: The first day of the Legislature's special session on Congressional redistricting was far from a full House or full Senate. Just 99 of the 120 House members were present at the start of the session. And in the Senate, just 25 of 40 members were in attendance when the session started.
Not Happy To Be Here: Florida legislators used the first day to go on record about how much they don’t want to be in Tallahassee redrawing the Congressional district lines. Several Senators took to the floor to blast the Florida Supreme Court for ordering them to redraw the lines. Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, called it a “big overreach” by the court to get into the specifics of how the court wants lines redrawn and the process used. Even the leader of the Senate redistricting effort, Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, made his dissatisfaction with the Supreme Court clear. “I don’t agree with the opinion of the Supreme Court,” Galvano said on the Senate floor. “But we are going to follow the recommendations and we are going to produce a map based on the guardrails that have been established for us and close this chapter.”
Room to Move: A base map released last week that would change the members of Congress for millions of Floridians and likely end the Congressional tenures of at least two sitting members of Congress is not a final product, Galvano assured members of the Senate. He said the maps released last week are just an opening suggestion that specifically addresses parts of the Supreme Court’s July ruling that struck down the districts. “But it is simply a starting point," he said. "It is not a final decision. In fact no decision has been made.”