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Senate redistricting plaintiffs come in with six new maps

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The plaintiffs in the state Senate redistricting litigation filed six versions of a redrawn district map late Wednesday night, according to an email from their spokeswoman.

Despite previous directions against drawing districts that cross Tampa Bay in a congressional redistricting case, their plans include areas that ‘jump the Bay.’

The plaintiffs and the Legislature have now filed proposals for consideration by Circuit Judge George Reynolds, charged with coming up with the best plan to recommend to the state Supreme Court. They had a midnight deadline.

Here are excerpts of descriptions of their alternatives from a filing shared by spokeswoman Lisa Hall:

(Plan CPS-2a) includes a fourth Hispanic district in South Florida (District 38) and a performing African-American district in Hillsborough County that does not cross Tampa Bay into Pinellas County (District 19).

(Plan CPS-2b) is identical to CPS-2, except in regard to Districts 36 and 38. CPS-2b is presented merely to show an alternative configuration of districts in Miami-Dade county that has three Hispanic-performing districts (Districts 35, 36, and 37)….

(Plan CPS-3a) includes the fourth Hispanic district in South Florida (SD38) found in CPS-2a. CPS-3a, however, has an African-American performing version of District 19 that (unlike District 19 in CPS-2a and CPS-2b) crosses Tampa Bay from Hillsborough County into Pinellas County.

(Plan CPS-3b) is identical to CPS-3a, except in regard to Districts 36 and 38. Just as with CPS-2b, CPS-3b is presented merely to show an alternative configuration of districts in Miami-Dade county that has three Hispanic-performing districts (Districts 35, 36, and 37)….

(Plan CPS-4a) has the same African-American performing version of District 19 (crossing Tampa Bay from Hillsborough into Pinellas) as found in CPS-3a, and includes the fourth Hispanic district in South Florida (District 38) found in CPS-2a.

(Plan CPS-4b) is identical to CPS-4a, except in regard to Districts 36 and 38. Just as with CPS-2b and CPS-3b, CPS-4b is presented merely to show an alternative configuration of districts in Miami-Dade county that has three Hispanic-performing districts (Districts 35, 36, and 37)….

Reynolds will consider the submissions at a trial the week of Dec. 14. Earlier Wednesday evening, the Senate turned in a plan that was a mash-up of two previous maps.

The League of Women Voters of Florida, Common Cause and others sued the Legislature, alleging the current Senate district map was rigged to favor Republicans and incumbents. The Senate settled the case by admitting fault and agreeing to redraw the lines with the House.

Both chambers, however, were at odds over the best way to do that and impassed during a recent Special Session, ensuring that the courts would have to figure it out.

Reynolds must figure out a configuration of the state’s 40 senatorial districts that abide by the state constitution’s Fair Districts amendments. They’re aimed at ending gerrymandering, or the drawing of political boundary lines to benefit particular parties or people.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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