The Republican-controlled legislature in Florida will allow Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to draw the new congressional map after he vetoed the ones approved by state lawmakers earlier this year, according to NBC News.
Republican leaders said the Legislature will let the governor’s office present its preferred map during this month’s special session.
“We are awaiting a communication from the Governor’s Office with a map that he will support. Our intention is to provide the Governor’s Office opportunities to present that information before House and Senate redistricting committees,” House Speaker Chris Sprowls and Senate President Wilton Simpson said in a memo to members shared with NBC News.
Earlier this year, DeSantis took the unusual step of proposing a congressional redistricting map. DeSantis’ map eliminated two Black-held seats while boosting the prospects for Republicans seeking a House seat.
DeSantis’ objection to the maps proposed by lawmakers appeared to be a seat held by Rep. Al Lawson, a Black Democrat. The district runs from Tallahassee to Jacksonville and is 46 percent Black; it’s considered a seat where voters of color have the opportunity to elect the members of their choice, according to NBC News.
The map proposed by DeSantis would split the seat into several Republican-leaning seats, a move that even Florida Republicans say would violate state constitutional amendments governing redistricting, which say minority voting power cannot be reduced during the map-making process.
The decision by the legislature to hand over their duties to Gov. DeSantis was blasted by advocates in the state.
“Just days after a federal court outlined how the DeSantis administration has carried on 20 years of policies that make it harder for Floridians to vote, especially Black voters in our state, now is the time to increase checks and balances in our state not to hand the Governor a blank check to remake the state however he wishes,” Moné Holder, a senior director at Florida Rising said in a statement.