TALLAHASSEE, FL – On the opening day of the Florida legislature, House leaders scheduled separate redistribution committee meetings at the same time – and critics criticized it as another attempt to limit the contribution of the public.
Florida House Republicans, who control the process of drawing new legislative and legislative constituencies, held meetings on Tuesday, specifically for public comment – but both were at 4 p.m. What was scheduled as a two-hour meeting ended in just eight minutes, after only two county commissioners spoke about the redistribution process.
Just before the adjournment, State Representative Dan Daley D-Coral Springs called on Interim President Republican Cord Byrd R-Neptune Beach to make a change.
“I can’t help but wonder if there are people who are currently on the congressional redistribution committee, who were noticed at the exact same time, who are not here today,” said Daley. “So in the future, if we can just make sure we put them at separate times, I would like to reiterate that request. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Byrd thanked Daley, adding that he “be sure” forward Daley’s comments to House Redistribution Committee Chairman Tom Leek, R-Ormond Beach.
The Fair Districts Coalition, which includes advocacy groups such as the League of Women Voters and Florida Conservation Voters, sent a letter to Leek, protesting less than a week’s notice for the meeting, as well as the geographic limitations. and the lack of housing for anyone with COVID-19 issues.
The House state legislative redistribution subcommittee was largely empty, something Acting Speaker Byrd failed to appear to acknowledge in his closing remarks.
“I would like to thank all of the audience who came here today to share their thoughts on the workshop maps and the redistribution process,” he said. “I look forward to this next step in our process. “
On Monday, two bipartisan Senate subcommittees put forward four redistribution maps with almost no public testimony. The cards are ready for a vote on Thursday, even as groups urging fair representation call for fault.