Florida House districts could look ‘radically different’ in 2022

FLORDIA REDISTRICTING (7)
Population swings could change district lines.

The once-a-decade redistricting process for Florida’s 120 House seats continued Wednesday, with the State Legislative Redistricting Subcommittee discussing criteria used in the 2012 maps and changes that are almost certain to come in 2022.

Chairman Cord Byrd, who represents Nassau County and part of Duval County in House District 11, suggested major changes could come to districts through the current redistricting process.

“While some of the districts may look similar, others could look radically different,” Byrd said, noting population growth has been significant, especially in certain parts of the state.

A PowerPoint presented by committee staff director Leda Kelly illustrated changes since the 2012 map.

Districts along the Interstate 95, I-4, and I-75 corridors from Tampa to Naples by and large are overpopulated relative to their representation decided in 2012, while rural, heartland seats seem to have suffered more population attrition, demographic trends likely to come into play as this process develops.

Some seemingly eternal questions on redistricting wrangles recurred anew here, including where prisoners count.

Ranking member Dan Daley wondered: Would inmates be counted as population in the districts where they are housed as in 2010, which would “artificially increase” rural power, or would they be allocated to their home districts?

Daley was advised that the U.S. Census Bureau determines that prisoners live in the districts where prisoners are housed, seemingly closing the question for the next decade.

“I hope you found today’s exercise to be another step in understanding our constitutional standards as well as a little more about our great state,” Byrd said, promising that future meetings would delve deeper into criteria.

Daley offered process critiques, including booking the meeting at the same time as the congressional redistricting meeting, and Byrd not producing a committee packet until 10:45 a.m., limiting members’ time to review materials.

Byrd did not address those critiques.

Worth noting: The current Florida House map does not reflect an almost even split in the state between Democrats and Republicans in registration.

Just 42 of the 120 members of the House are Democrats.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]



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