Florida House passes redistricting maps over sit-in protest from Democrats

click to enlarge Florida House passes redistricting maps over sit-in protest from Democrats
Screenshot via Florida Senate

The Florida House passed a new congressional map on Thursday after Democratic lawmakers disrupted the session with a sit-in protest.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' redistricting map has drawn protest for cutting Black representation in the state in half. Knowing that Republicans were in lockstep behind the governor, who vetoed earlier maps that kept the distrcits intact, Democrats protested by disrupting the process.

The protest occurred after Rep. Yvonne Hayes Hinson was told that she was going over her allotted debate time and kept talking, and her microphone was cut off.

The House chamber was cleared and the maps passed shortly after they reconvened.

If the map is approved, the nearly half-Black District 5 would be replaced with a district that is only 12% Black, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The map also diminishes Black voters in District 10 in Orlando as it moves a large number of the voters into District 11, which is Republican-friendly. The map reduces predominantly Black districts from four to two.

Rep. Carlos G. Smith of Orlando said that Republicans were violating the Constitution by approving the governor's map.

The maps passed the House in a 68-38 vote. The House also passed a bill on Thursday that will dissolve Disney's Reedy Creek Improvement District, an oversight body unique to the theme park that exempts them from Florida land use laws.

The two bills will be sent to DeSantis for approval.

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