Senate President Wilton Simpson said the redistricting process will likely begin in the summer after Florida found out this week it will pick up one congressional district from the once-a-decade census count.
“We have not given that a lot of consideration at this point,” Simpson said Monday after the U.S. Census Bureau announced Florida is one of six states that will gain congressional seats. “We'll be looking at that, probably summertime, to start putting together a process. And so, we're going to put together a very fair, transparent process and let the committee process work. And bring, I hope, what will be a map that will not only comply with the Constitution, but you know, hold up to objections through the courts.”
The COVID-19 pandemic delayed block-level population numbers, which aren’t expected to be out until August or September. But redrawing of congressional and legislative lines is expected to be completed before candidates qualify for the 2022 elections.
“Even though the bureau’s timeline for data processing and delivery has been delayed for this redistricting cycle, Florida is still well within our constitutionally mandated time frame of drawing and approving maps during the 2022 regular session,” House Redistricting Chairman Tom Leek, R-Ormond Beach, wrote to House members.
Simpson acknowledged he was surprised Florida got just one new congressional district, bringing the state’s total to 28. Many people had expected Florida to receive a second seat.
“Yes, it was surprising, because it seems like we're gaining so much population here in the state of Florida, but, you know, the numbers are what they are,” Simpson said.
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