TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The one question for Florida lawmakers now is how to divvy up districts for the 28 members of Congress.
State Sen. Annette Taddeo, D-Miami, accused Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday of wasting resources.
“Why are we wasting taxpayers’ dollars to go up to Tallahassee to pretend like we are doing something,” said Taddeo, who is campaigning to run against DeSantis.
She wants Florida Democrats to boycott the session next week after DeSantis vetoed the maps that lawmakers passed.
“We don’t know who is going to draw these maps for the Governor, to his liking, where you erase black and brown communities,” Taddeo said.
Critics said DeSantis wants North Florida drawn in a “race-neutral manner.” The most disputed is District 5 in the panhandle, now considered favorable to elect a Black member of Congress, but not as square and compact as required by law.
DeSantis recently said Florida is not going to have “a 200-mile gerrymander that divvies up people based on the color of their skin. That is wrong!”
After a U.S. Census year, the data shows a population shift. That means lawmakers have to recalculate the voting districts to be equal in both numbers and demographics.
“You have data that comes from the US Census and we have law: You apply the data to the law,” Republican State Rep. Tom Fabricio said.
The Florida Constitution says districts should be compact and along natural boundaries. The state and U.S. constitutions protect minority voters.
Democratic State Rep Kelly Skidmore said the law also protects “the ability and opportunity for minority and language minority populations to elect a candidate of their choice.”