TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida’s Legislature has approved a congressional map pushed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis over the strong objections of Black and Democratic lawmakers.
The opponents say the new map will diminish the state’s Black representation in the U.S. House and benefit Republicans.
The measure passed 68-38 along party lines.
The vote came during a raucous special session in which Black lawmakers staged a sit-in on the chamber floor and sang “We Shall Overcome.”
Earlier this year, DeSantis took the unusual step of vetoing the map drawn by the Legislature and proposing his own.
He called lawmakers back into the special session to approve it.
Al Lawson, who represents District 5, which is one of the districts impacted by the governor's approved congressional map, released a statement about the approved map Thursday.
"Once again, DeSantis is showing Florida voters that he is governing the state as a dictator," according to a statement released by Lawson. “DeSantis bullied the Florida Legislature into approving his Republican-leaning congressional map during special session. It is alarming that state legislators cannot fulfill their constitutional duties without political meddling.
“Florida House Democrats demonstrated courage today by protesting the DeSantis’ drawn map on the floor. They comprehend that this map violates the Voting Rights Act along with the U.S. and Florida Constitutions.
“Minority voters in Florida deserve congressional representation. It is astounding that someone tasked to lead the state is playing partisan politics for his own political aspirations.”