DeSantis Says He’ll Veto Congressional Map Passed by House

( Last Friday, as the Republican-led Florida House was debating the proposed congressional maps, Governor Ron DeSantis reiterated his vow to veto the current plan under debate.

The Florida Republican had previously said he would veto any congressional map that did not meet with his approval.

The House later passed the bill 67 to 47 that approved the primary map introduced the week before that attempted to allay the governor’s concerns about the constitutionality of the current district for black Congressman Al Lawson while still trying to maintain a black plurality district in Jacksonville. The bill also contains an alternative map that keeps Lawson’s district intact in case the initial map is thrown out in court.

Democrat lawmakers in the state are naturally upset.

Then again, they are always upset with Ron DeSantis.

During debate on the bill, Democrat state lawmaker Carlos Guillermo Smith accused the governor of meddling, saying the Florida House “got played.” He claimed that the House had better maps than the one that passed on Friday, but they were “scrapped” “to satisfy the whims of our governor.” Smith sarcastically suggested the House give DeSantis a Sharpie so he could draw “whatever your little heart desires.”

Republican lawmaker Tom Leek who chairs the House Redistricting Committee, however, defended the governor’s right to be involved in the process, arguing that constitutionally, Governor DeSantis “has a place in this.”

The Florida legislature’s regular session ends on March 11, so time is running out on the House and Senate being able to resolve the differences in their proposed maps. If the governor follows through and vetoes the final plan, a special session will have to be called for lawmakers to return to Tallahassee to either override the veto or approve a map the governor will accept.

Congressional candidates in Florida must be qualified to run from June 13-17.

In the 2020 census, Florida gained one seat in Congress, so whatever map eventually gains approval will contain a new 28th congressional district.