Florida Senate begins debating redistricting maps

Published: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 12:39 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 12:39 p.m.

TALLAHASSEE — The Republican-controlled Florida Senate has begun floor action on redistricting maps that critics say would violate two new state constitutional amendments.

Senate Reapportionment Chairman Don Gaetz insisted the Senate and congressional maps conform to the Fair District amendments in his opening statement Tuesday.

Voters approved the amendments in 2010. They prohibit lawmakers from intentionally drawing districts to benefit incumbents and political parties. Other provisions protect minority representation and require that lines follow political and natural boundaries when possible.

The dispute over whether the maps meet those criteria is expected to be resolved in the courts.

Democrats are split on the maps that are set for votes on Wednesday.

The House, also with a GOP majority, is moving slower with floor action not expected for another two weeks.

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