TALLAHASSEE -- No doesn't mean no when the stakes remain high, so state Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, released yet another proposed congressional redistricting map Thursday in an effort to get the Florida House to agree to a deal before the court draws its own plan.
The latest plan leaves Rep. Dan Webster's district in Orange County as sought by the House. It wrecks havoc for other incumbents by doing a major rewrite of districts in Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota counties, and could end the congressional career of Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Okeechobee.
All of Hillsborough south of Brandon would be combined in a new congressional district with all of Manatee County -- now covered by Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota. Under Galvano's plan, that district has no current incumbent living in it, potentially sparking a political upheaval in Manatee.
"The Sarasota-Manatee district is one of the most constitutionally pure of all 27 congressional districts in Florida," Buchanan said. "Shouldn't the Legislature focus on fixing the eight districts that were found in violation instead of the one everyone agrees is a model district?"
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All of Sarasota County, represented now by Buchanan, would be pushed into a new 17th Congressional district that would include four other counties -- Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee and part of Polk -- now represented by Rooney. He would either have to move farther west to challenge Buchanan or remain in a new 9th Congressional District stretching up into Orlando, a heavily Democratic district represented now by state Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando.
House leaders have repeatedly said they're done with negotiating a deal, and want the Florida Supreme Court to sort it out. The court set Friday as its deadlines for motions.
Galvano said he's asked Senate President Andy Gardiner to appeal to House leaders and seek one more meeting.
Here's the memo to senators from Galvano:
"Since the adjournment of the special session last week, I have heard from many of you expressing a desire to reach a compromise with our legislative partners in the House. While I believe it is important for the Senate to advocate for its legislative positions, I also recognize the legislative process can only work if the House and Senate can reach agreement together. It is about compromise. In that vein, I have continued to work with Senate staff to craft a proposal to continue the conversation on drawing a congressional map, which could also serve as a compromise, if the House favorably receives it.
"To that end, I instructed the professional staff of the Senate Committee on Reapportionment to draft a congressional redistricting plan that would represent a compromise. My directions were simply to:
"1) Acquiesce to the concern the House expressed regarding the Senate's proposal to keep Congressional District 10 in Orange County.
"2) Address the concern the House expressed in treating Hillsborough County in a manner consistent with Orange County.
"3) Acknowledge the policy positions taken by the Senate in keeping Sarasota County whole.
"4) Maintain the level of tier-two compliance, particularly with regard to compactness and respect for political boundaries, achieved in the House's amended base map.
"Today I am sharing that product with you in the form of plan S026C9066. This new plan was drawn solely by our professional staff with only the instructions outlined above. No other members of the legislature participated in the drafting process or provided any input. While drawing the map, staff did not share or discuss any map, draft, report, or analysis with any member of the legislature or any member of the public, including legislative officers, employees, or outside consultants. Legal counsel and I were given a copy of the map and the anlaysis only after its completion, and no revisions have been made to the plan since.
"Plan S026C9066 incorporates 23 of the 27 districts as they were drawn in the House's amended base map, plan H110C9071. The four districts that were changed are Districts 9, 15, 16, and 17. Their reconfiguration results in a map that does not alter District 10 as it was drawn in the base map, increases Hillsborough County's population share of District 16, and does not split Sarasota County. In terms of compliance with the tier-two standards set forth in Article III, Section 20 of the Florida Constitution, Plan S026C9066 keeps 50 of Florida's 67 counties whole--more than any map produced to date. While this plan does split one more municipality than the House's amended base map, it is Longboat Key, a town already divided by Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Overall, the compactness measures of this new plan do not depart from the base map in any statistically significant manner, as illustrated by the table below."