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Rich decides not to file amendment for Dems redistricting map

With less than an hour to go before the deadline for offering up amendments to the Senate redistricing maps it looks like there won't be one from Senate Democrats.

Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich told the Herald/Times on Friday that she has decided to refrain from efforts to fix a senate and congressional map she filed on Monday but withdrew from consideration on Wednesday, hoping to make changes by today.

"Our maps were not going to pass and I didn't want to hear any more vitriol in the Senate and on the Senate floor,'' she said. "We’ll make our point and the map will go to the court, and they will determ whether it’s constitutional or not.''

Rich's proposed maps drew criticism from Senate Republicans for being a last-minute offering and rebukes from Miami Democrat Sen. Larcenia Bullard who believed they diluted  minority voting strength. Rich said Friday that the intent of her maps were to refrain from "packing" Democrats into minority districts and thereby would have increased the clout of minorities.

But the proposal divided Democrats as 6 of the 10 Democrats on the committee voted in favor of the Senate map proposed by Senate staff and five voted in favor of the staf-written congressional map.

"I think they were in better compliance with Amendments 5 and 6,'' she said referring to the Fair District amendments that prohibit incumbency protection and partisan gerrymandering and favor compact geographical boundaries. "But they still needed some work."