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Florida's new congressional map heads back to the drawing board after DeSantis makes good on his veto threat

Wilton Simpson stands behind the lectern on the floor of the Senate. He wears a dark jacket, white shirt and blue tie.
Wilfredo Lee
Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson speaks during a legislative session at the Florida State Capitol on Monday, March 7, 2022.

It's back to the drawing board for Florida's new congressional map.

State lawmakers are scheduled to return to the Capitol during April 19-22 to draw the state's U.S. House districts for the next decade.

Republican state legislative leaders announced the scheduled four-day special session on Tuesday — shortly after Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed a two-map plan both chambers approved earlier this month.

DeSantis tweeted a warning that he'd veto the legislature's proposed congressional plan as lawmakers were getting ready to pass it. During a press conference later that day, he backed up his tweet with assurances that he'd reject the plan.

State Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls issued the following joint statement:

"Notwithstanding the delayed census, during the 2022 Regular Session, Florida’s Legislature passed new House and Senate maps with strong bipartisan support. For the first time in nearly a century, the Legislature’s maps were not challenged by a single party, and earlier this month were declared valid by the Florida Supreme Court.

Unlike state legislative maps, the congressional map requires approval by the Governor, and Governor DeSantis has vetoed the legislation we passed earlier this month. Our goal is for Florida to have a new congressional map passed by the Legislature, signed by the Governor, and upheld by the court if challenged. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to exhaust every effort in pursuit of a legislative solution. We look forward to working with our colleagues and Governor DeSantis during the upcoming special session on a congressional map that will earn the support of the Legislature and the Governor and fulfill our constitutional obligation for the 2022 redistricting process."

Valerie Crowder is a freelance journalist based in Tallahassee, Fl. She's the former ATC host/government reporter for WFSU News. Her reporting on local government and politics has received state and regional award recognition. She has also contributed stories to NPR newscasts.