Florida map proposal maintains GOP advantage

A Florida state Senate panel released a draft layout of the state's new congressional districts Monday, unveiling plans for a map that largely maintains the status quo — and in doing so, does a favor to Republicans, who already control a majority of Florida's congressional delegation.

Of the two new districts that Florida gained due to population growth over the past decade, one will be winnable for Hispanics and include 40 percent Hispanic voters, the Orlando Sentinel reported. The other will be solidly Republican.

Rep. Tom Rooney's (R-Fla.) district will be adjusted slightly and will become slightly more competitive for Democrats, while Rep. Dan Webster's (R-Fla.) district will become safer for Republicans.

“Today, Florida Republicans have taken a state — which experts have long considered one of the most malapportioned states in the country — and worsened it," Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith said in a statement.

The Senate map proposal likely marks the first leg of a long and contentious journey to picking new boundaries that will serve Florida for the next decade. The state House will also draft a map, and the process is expected to require court involvement.