House to unveil redistricting plans on Tuesday

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The House of Representatives panel charged with redrawing the state’s political boundaries will unveil a slate of options for the state’s congressional and state House districts Tuesday, setting the stage for discussions that could affect the balance of power in Florida for a decade, reports Brandon Larrabee of thew News Service of Florida.

House Redistricting Chairman Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, is expected to unveil several versions of each map at a meeting Tuesday afternoon. Members of the three subcommittees overseeing the congressional, House and Senate plans will then hold meetings Thursday to consider the alternatives for the once-a-decade redistricting process that follows the decennial Census.

House leaders have been relatively tight-lipped about what the maps will look like, but the options will almost certainly be compared to maps released last week by the state Senate — where a comparison is possible.

The maps will also reveal how the House views the anti-gerrymandering “Fair Districts” constitutional amendments approved last year by voters in a referendum.

Already, Weatherford has said the House will start off with the maps the Senate proposes for its own districts — following the example of the Senate Reapportionment Committee, which has deferred to the House to come up with the first draft of maps for that chamber. But the letter from Weatherford added a twist that so far hasn

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.