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redistricting

Redistricting-related bill OK’d by Senate

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The Florida Senate Tuesday passed a bill aimed at streamlining the handling of political redistricting court cases. The legislation (SB 352) was approved without debate 24-14, sending it to the House.  Bill sponsor Travis Hutson, an Elkton Republican, has said the plan “locks the maps in place on qualification day,” giving clarity to candidates. It also “encourages” courts “to follow certain procedures to maintain public oversight when drafting a remedial redistricting plan,” according to a bill analysis. The bill is a…

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Senate redistricting bill clears last review panel

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A bill aimed at streamlining the handling of political redistricting court cases cleared its last committee Thursday. The legislation (SB 352) was OK’d by the Senate Rules Committee on a 7-3 party-line vote. It’s now ready for the full Senate. It also “encourages” courts “to follow certain procedures to maintain public oversight when drafting a remedial redistricting plan,” the bill’s analysis says. That’s because bill sponsor Travis Hutson, an Elkton Republican, was concerned that previous redistricting cases were decided “behind…

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Redistricting overhaul clears first Senate panel

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A bill aimed at speeding up the handling of political redistricting court cases breezed through its first Senate committee on Tuesday. The legislation (SB 352) was OK’d by the Senate Judiciary Committee with only state Sen. Bobby Powell, a Riviera Beach Democrat, voting against it. “I do believe it’s initially incumbent on us to be transparent so we don’t wind up in these situations,” Powell said. “This is something that basically we brought on ourselves.” The bill is a response…

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Infamous dates: The moments that influenced Florida politics in 2016

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Everyone expected Florida to play an important role in politics this year. And why wouldn’t they? Presidential hopefuls hailed from here; the state’s electoral votes were coveted; and its Senate race could have determined control of the U.S. Senate. But just like many predictions in 2016, some of the prophecies for Florida’s outsized role on the national stage fell flat. Many believed a Sunshine state politico would be a presidential nominee (not quite right) or that the election would hinge…

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Corrine Brown won’t be ordered to pay redistricting plaintiffs

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A federal judge has shut down a request from the winners of the congressional redistricting case for U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown to pay their attorney and expert witness bills of nearly $250,000. U.S. District Judge Mark Walker also denied a request to levy sanctions against Brown, saying her case “was meritless” but not “frivolous.” His order was entered late last month. Brown, a 23-year Democratic congresswoman from north Florida, lost her primary against challenger Al Lawson in the wake of her indictment on charges that she and her chief…

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Redistricting plaintiffs want Corrine Brown to pay for their consultants

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The winners of the congressional redistricting fight now are sending U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown their own $23,600 bill for consultants. The League of Women Voters of Florida, Common Cause and others already filed a motion for sanctions against the North Florida congresswoman for unsuccessfully challenging them in federal court. Court dockets show they’ve now added a “bill of costs” for the consultants they used, adding “expert witness fees” to their previous demand for an “award of attorneys’ fees,” now estimated at $220,000. Brown, however,…

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Redistricting plaintiffs seek sanctions against Corrine Brown

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The winners of the congressional redistricting fight are seeking to make Corrine Brown pay for challenging them. The League of Women Voters of Florida, Common Cause and others last week filed a motion for sanctions against the north Florida congresswoman. Brown had unsuccessfully fought the redrawing of Florida’s congressional districts. Specifically, the Jacksonville Democrat had asked the court to set aside her redrawn seat, the 5th Congressional District. Brown said her new district violates federal voting laws by cutting down the influence of minority voters and discriminates against them. A panel…

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