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Senate committee supports bill to move up 2012 legislative session

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Florida’s Senate Reapportionment committee unanimously agreed Tuesday to support a bill (which I track with LobbyTools) by Sen. Joe Negron, to move up the start of the 2012 legislative session to accommodate the once-a-decade redistricting process.

The reason to start the 60-day session in January rather than in March when the state lawmakers normally begin the session is to give state and federal officials time to review any changes made to the state and federal district lines, Negron said.

“This has been done in the last several reapportionment years, this is not unusual,” Negron said.

The state Attorney General has 15 days to review the plan followed by 30 days of review by the Florida Supreme Court, before it goes to the U.S. Department of Justice to ensure the changes meet civil rights requirements.

“We want to make sure with federal and state qualifying, which is June 18 through 22, that is a very compressed time frame, and if you end up with qualifying too late, it could create disorder in the election process,” Negron said.

The district lines are historically redrawn after the new numbers from U.S. Census, now underway, are released.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.

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