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Political maps released by Florida House could help GOP

November 29, 2021 GMT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida House released its proposed congressional maps on Monday, which appear to give Republicans more of an advantage than the Senate-proposed maps released earlier this month.

Of particular significance, the maps would make Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy’s central Florida district more difficult to win. The House’s two proposals carve up several central Florida districts in order to add a new 28th congressional district.

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 process of redrawing the new political maps is far from over. They need to go through the committee process, and the House and Senate must come to an agreement on the new lines. The first drafts were created by staff. Lawmakers can also suggest changes.

House members were advised not to talk with anyone who has a vested interest in how the maps are drawn.

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The state constitution requires contiguous districts that aren’t drawn to favor or harm a political party or incumbent. The last time the state redrew political lines, the initially approved maps were declared unconstitutional and it took a three-year legal battle before the Supreme Court finally approved them.