A number of Florida’s House Democrats staged a protest on the floor of the Florida House to voice their opposition to Republicans’ efforts around congressional redistricting yesterday. Due to the protest, the Florida House’s procedures were temporarily halted. However, the protest was short-lived, and the House proceeded to approve Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) proposed congressional map.
The Florida Senate had already approved the map, and the House was the map’s final stop.
The Florida Legislature announced it will not be drawing the redistricting congressional maps, but instead, will defer to the maps drawn up by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis became involved with the process earlier in 2022 when he submitted his own plans outside of the legislature’s recommendations.
“We are awaiting a communication from the Governor’s Office with a map that he will support,” said Republican leaders in a joint memo. “Our intention is to provide the Governor’s Office opportunities to present that information before House and Senate redistricting committees.”
Florida lawmakers continue to be in budget conference reconciling differences between House and Senate budget proposals. So far, numerous agreements and billions of dollars have been agreed upon.
The Florida House approved a $105 billion budget and the Florida Senate approved a $108 billion budget.
A map from the Florida House proposes that Florida’s congressional redistricting process will see Congressional District 5, currently held by Representative Al Lawson (R-FL-5), eliminated as it currently sits. According to the new map, Lawson’s district would only encapsulate an area in Duval County.
The recommendation to shift the boundaries of District 5 come from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The rest of the voters in the Tallahassee and North Central Florida area would be incorporated into District 2, held by Representative Neal Dunn (R-FL-2).
Florida Republican lawmakers Sen. Aaron Bean (R-FL-4) and Rep. John Snyder (R-FL-82) filed companion bills to enhance Florida’s illegal immigration enforcement. The bill would expand an already existent ban on sanctuary cities, municipalities that protect illegal immigrants from immigration enforcement.
The bill would also prohibit state and local government from contracting with transportation companies that have been transported illegal aliens across state lines into Florida.
Florida’s lawmakers are considering expanding state-funded health insurance for children. The idea has gained traction among Republicans and Democrats, and two competing proposals would increase the amount of money beneficiaries can make.
Currently, families making less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for the state’s program, KidCare. However, the same families do not qualify for Medicaid.
The Florida Supreme Court is calling for creating a sixth state appeals court. One of their reasons for making the call is “serious underrepresentation” of appellate judges from Jacksonville.
“The creation of a new district court, like any other significant change in the judicial system, would be accompanied by some degree of internal disruption, but we conclude that any such internal disruption in the district courts associated with the creation of a sixth district court would be short-lived and would be outweighed by the benefit of enhanced public trust and confidence,” said the Florida Supreme Court’s majority opinion shared by Chief Justice Charles Canady and Justices Jorge Labarga, Alan Lawson, Carlos Muniz and John Couriel.