Gaetz, R-Niceville, is the only senator to be tasked with two committee chairmanships by the Florida Senate President, Mike Haridopolos - appropriations and reapportionment. Gaetz, speaking to reapportionment and redistricting at the Republican Club at the Tuscan Grille in Navarre on Aug. 2 jokingly said, “They are still looking for the last guy that did this 10 years ago…they can’t even find his body.” Dean Cannon, the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, and Haridopolos, have set out with an aggressive agenda complete with an informative website and “listening tour” to get citizen input on where the district lines will be drawn. More than two-dozen hearings throughout the state were scheduled to address apportionment and redistricting, which is a process that happens every 10 years after the federal census. Gaetz has completed 14 of these hearings and has 12 more to attend so that he can help draw-up the bill that will draw new lines for Florida’s districts.
In the past, states have dealt with redistricting in many different ways.
“We could do what Illinois democrat legislature did, drew up the maps, slammed them down and said take it or leave it. Or, turn it over to unelected judges or commissioners that no one can name or hold responsible,” Gaetz said.
For more on this story, see the August 11 issue of the Navarre Press or subscribe online.