Latvala demands copies of all redistricting maps
A meeting of the Senate Reapportionment Committee got off to a rocky start Tuesday when Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, demanded to know why some proposed maps of new Senate districts were not included in the meeting packets given to senators. Instead, the panel's staff selected five "representative samples" of district realignments for senators to consider (all maps are online).
"I'm a little slower than some other people, but I like to see things printed out," Latvala said. The Pinellas lawmaker said he would like to see "a little more variety" in the proposed Senate maps up for consideration, and that one plan for Central Florida Senate seats was not included. What was not mentioned publicly is that the Senate districts in 2012 will determine the body's makeup for the next decade and beyond, and Latvala is a potential future contender for the Senate presidency.
Latvala's concerns over seeing copies of all maps were echoed by Republican Sen. Evelyn Lynn of Ormond Beach and Democrat Maria Sachs of Boca Raton. At that point, the panel's chairman, Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, called Latvala's request "very appropriate" and directed the committee staff director, John Guthrie, to be prepared to provide loose-leaf binder books including all submitted plans.
"There's not any attempt on my part or by Mr. Guthrie to edit any consideration," Gaetz said.