Senate committee approves new Florida congressional map

Only one committee member, Democratic Sen. Audrey Gibson, voted against the plan, which adds a new 28th district in central Florida that should favor Republicans.

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Senate committee approves new Florida congressional map
State Sen. Ray Rodrigues makes a point during a Senate Committee on Reapportionment hearing in a legislative session, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

The Senate Reapportion Committee approved a new Florida congressional map Thursday with no discussion or debate.

Only one committee member, Democratic Sen. Audrey Gibson, voted against the plan, which adds a new 28th district in central Florida that should favor Republicans.

With nearly all Democrats on the committee voting for the map, it’s a sign that the plan meets the state’s constitutional requirement that districts be contiguous and drawn without benefitting a political party or candidate.

The plan will now go to the full Senate. The House Redistricting Committee still needs to approve its version of the congressional map.

Florida’s population growth of 2.7 million new residents between 2010 and 2020 led to the new seat in the once-every-decade redistricting process.

The Senate vowed to follow the constitution. That promise was made after a three-year court battle the last time the state drew political maps.

The state Supreme Court threw out the Republican-led Legislature’s maps, which were drawn with the help of state Republican party consultants.

Senate committee approves new Florida congressional map