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DeSantis signs new congressional map into law

The governor indicated he signed the bill Friday morning in Tallahassee.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — There appears to be a new congressional map on the books, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis who said he signed the special session bill Friday morning in Tallahassee.

"We also did sign the congressional reapportionment in Tallahassee earlier today, so that's gonna be transmitted," DeSantis briefly noted during a press conference in Hialeah Gardens. 

DeSantis' signature was the final step to sign off on the new congressional map that alters the districts of two Black U.S. House members  — Reps. Al Lawson and Sheila Cherfilus McCormick. 

Prior to its signing, the bill's passage alone was met with pushback from Democratic lawmakers in the Florida House. The group held a sit-in of sorts ahead of the congressional map's final vote. 

"Draw some constitutional maps. Those are our demands and we will not be moved," one representative could be heard saying.

In an email, the Southern Poverty Law Center also warned the map would reduce the representation for communities of color because it contains fewer majority-minority districts than in maps proposed previously.

“Despite the growth of communities of color in Florida, DeSantis is proposing a map that reduces the number of seats containing a majority of voters of color in Congress," Jack Genberg, the Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund's senior staff attorney for voting rights, wrote in a statement. "Voters of color are going to be deprived of an equal opportunity when it comes to making their voices heard on issues as local as getting their roads repaired, or as national as healthcare policy. "

The SPLC called the map "discriminatory."

Around Tampa Bay, at least two districts would be redrawn under the map the governor is expected to sign. It would expand District 12 and move some voters from District 13 in Pinellas County to District 14 in Hillsborough County.

This map is expected to give Republicans more Florida seats than the maps previously approved by the House and Senate during the regular legislative session.

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