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Three takeaways from Florida special session


It’s time to start amending the maps. The House and Senate will hold separate committee hearings in the morning to consider amendments to the initial base redistricting plan.

A federal case: Following through on a threat she made a week ago, U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, filed a new lawsuit in federal court asking the court to stop the State Supreme Court’s order to the Legislature to redraw her 5th Congressional District, which meanders from Jacksonville, through Gainesville and into Orlando. The Florida Supreme Court recommended the Legislature make her district an east-west design, stretching from Jacksonville to just past Tallahassee.

Whole again: Sarasota County quickly became one of the biggest battle grounds in the 12-day special session on redistricting. Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, proposed the first amendment in the Senate to alter the map. Instead of splitting Sarasota County’s 380,000 residents into two separate Congressional Districts, Detert’s plan would keep them all whole in one district as they are presently. The result would be most of southern Hillsborough County would be represented by Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Okeechobee, instead of Sarasota Republican Vern Buchanan, as initial redistricting maps proposed.

More time: State senators had planned to meet in a committee through Thursday to discuss, and potentially amend, a new Congressional districts map. But already, the Senate has set aside an additional day on Friday in expectation that they won’t be able to finish the job on Thursday.