St. Petersburg Times Online: News of Florida
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
  • Tax plan tussle is test for GOP
  • University presidents agree to open meetings to public
  • House puts stamp on redistricting

  • From the state wire

  • Hurricane Jeanne appears on track to hit Florida's east coast
  • Rumor mill working overtime after Florida hurricanes
  • Developments associated with Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne
  • Four killed in Panhandle plane crash were on Ivan charity mission
  • Hurricane Frances caused estimated $4.4 billion in insured damage
  • Disabled want more handicapped-accessible voting machines
  • USF forces administrators to resign over test score changes
  • Man's death at Universal Studios ruled accidental
  • State child welfare workers in Miami fail to do background checks
  • Hurricane Jeanne heads toward southeast U.S. coast
  • Hurricane Jeanne spurs more anxiety for storm-weary Floridians
  • Mistrial declared in case where teen was target of racial "joke"
  • Panhandle utility wants sewer plant moved to higher ground
  • State employee arrested on theft, bribery charges
  • Homestead house fire kills four children, one adult
  • Pierson leader tries to cut off relief to local fern cutters
  • Florida's high court rules Terri's law unconstitutional
  • Jacksonville students punished for putting stripper pole in dorm
  • FEMA handling nearly 600,000 applications for help
  • Man who killed wife, niece, self also killed mother in 1971
  • Producer sues city over lead ball fired by Miami police
  • Tourism suffers across Florida after pummeling by hurricanes
  • Key dates in the life of Terri Schiavo
  • An excerpt from the unanimous ruling in the Schiavo case
  • Four confirmed dead after small plane crash in Panhandle
  • Correction: Disney-Cruise Line story
  • tampabay.com

    printer version

    House puts stamp on redistricting

    Denying all requests by Democrats, Republicans tentatively okay a deal that redraws voting districts.

    By LUCY MORGAN, Times Tallahassee Bureau Chief

    © St. Petersburg Times
    published March 6, 2002


    TALLAHASSEE -- Sounding more like witnesses testifying at a trial, members of the House Tuesday tentatively approved a series of redistricting maps for legislative and congressional districts.

    The plan approved for congressional seats gives Republican U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young a district that divides St. Petersburg, running up the western half of Pinellas County to include southwest Pasco County. U.S. Rep. Jim Davis, D-Tampa, would get a district centered in Tampa, reaching across Tampa Bay to take in some voters in southern parts of St. Petersburg.

    U.S. Rep. Mike Bilirakis, R-Tarpon Springs, would get a district that includes much of Pasco County, northeast Pinellas and part of Hillsborough.

    U.S. Rep. Karen Thurman, D-Dunnellon, would get a district that runs from Dixie County down through Hernando County, taking in east Pasco and east Hillsborough.

    Pinellas and Hillsborough would continue sharing two state Senate seats.

    With a court reporter taking notes and three Republican lawyers seated on the floor, GOP members fenced with Democrats, who asked question after question about districts drawn by Republicans.

    The Republican majority rejected a request from Democrats who wanted to have their own lawyers on the floor. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Miami recalled a similar day a decade ago when Democrats ran the House.

    "We made that same request 10 years ago and it was denied," Diaz-Balart said. "We weren't allowed to have our partisan counsel. These are the same attorneys who are suing the House and it would be highly unusual to permit attorneys who are suing us to be on the floor."

    Attorneys for House Democrats sued in federal court in Miami to have a judge take over redistricting. Former Rep. Miguel DeGrandy, the attorney for House Republicans, said he is seeking to have the suit moved to federal court in Tallahassee.

    Every Democratic amendment was voted down. The House is expected to approve all three plans today -- one each for the state House, state Senate and U.S. House.

    Redistricting is tied up in the struggle between the two chambers over the Senate's controversial plan to overhaul taxes. The Senate's redistricting plans are "on hold" for now, said Senate President John McKay, R-Bradenton.

    If the House and Senate fail to agree on maps, House Speaker Tom Feeney said the House is prepared to take its plans to court and say, "it's the only legislative product available."

    "If the Senate fails to do its constitutional duty, we think the courts would give our plans some deference," said Feeney, R-Oviedo. "But it's not the way the process is supposed to work."

    Back to State news
    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
     
    Special Links
    Lucy Morgan


    From the Times state desk