JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Following a special legislative session, Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law new congressional districts for the state of Florida. The special session was necessary following disagreements over the future of the north Florida district that had been known as District 5, stretching from Jacksonville to the Tallahassee area.
Following the 2020 Census, Florida picked up a U.S. House seat, making for a total of 28 congressional districts. Different plans have been submitted, and some vary more than others, when compared to the state’s current 27 congressional districts.
In January, the state Senate approved its version of the map, which kept District 5 relatively close to its current shape. A few days before the Senate vote, the administration of Gov. Ron DeSantis submitted a plan that dramatically altered north Florida districts, breaking up the current District 5. The governor’s office later submitted a second plan, which did make some changes, but kept the same general configuration for northeast Florida.
A redistricting subcommittee in the state House originally proposed a congressional map that would preserve District 5 in its Jacksonville-to-Tallahassee configuration. The House later passed a bill on a 67-47 vote that included a primary map and secondary backup map. The primary map, which kept District 5 within Duval County, was drawn in an effort to appease the governor’s concerns about the constitutionality of the district of U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, an African American, while still trying to maintain a Black plurality district in Jacksonville. The secondary map largely maintained Lawson’s current district in case the primary map was found unconstitutional.
On March 29, DeSantis vetoed the bill, rejecting both of the proposed maps it included. He argued District 5 violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The governor called for a special legislative session to draw new maps, starting April 19. On April 13, the governor’s office submitted a new proposed map for lawmakers to consider during the special session. Similar to other proposals from the governor’s office, it splits Duval County across two districts: one including the areas north and west of the river, plus Clay and Nassau Counties, and another district with the areas south and east of the river, plus the northern half of St. Johns County. On April 19, lawmakers reconvened for a special session and took up the map. Despite protests by Black and Democratic lawmakers, the map was signed into law on April 22, although future legal challenges are expected.
You can compare the new districts and the previous proposals to the current districts in the interactive below.
REDISTRICTING INTERACTIVES: Florida Senate districts | Florida House districts | Jacksonville city council districts
Note: If the map doesn’t appear to be working correctly, refresh your browser window.