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Day 10: Three takeaways from Florida's special session

Published Aug. 19, 2015

Wednesday is Day 10 of the Florida Legislature's 12-day special legislative session on redrawing the map of congressional districts. Uncertainty reigns. By all accounts, the Senate and House aren't talking to each other. Here are three takeaways:

1, 2, 3, Look at Mr. Lee: The full Senate discusses its revised map, crafted by Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, that reshapes how Hillsborough County would be represented in Washington. Lee's lines also keep all of Sarasota County in one district and draw U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross of Lakeland one street out of his own district. The House voted out a "base map" Tuesday with none of those elements and no plans have been announced for House and Senate redistricting chairmen to meet in public and discuss their differences. The session is scheduled to end Friday.

Short-handed Democrats: The Senate floor session will find the 14-member Senate Democratic Caucus short two members from South Florida. Sens. Gwen Margolis and Chris Smith are on the mend from recent surgeries. UPDATE: Sen. Dwight Bullard of Miami, listed as excused by the Senate president's office, was present.

A better way?: Republicans and Democrats don't agree on much, but they are in sync that the ongoing redistricting fiasco in Tallahassee should never happen again. Some Republicans -- not all -- want to rein in the power of the court to dictate changes to districts, and Democrats want to take redistricting out of the hands of the Legislature and give it to an independent commission. House Democrats, led by Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, will argue their case at a Wednesday news conference at the Capitol.