Skip to Navigation | Skip to Main Content | Skip to Site Map

Account: Sign Up | Login

Florida Constitution Revision Commission

PUB 700176: Size of the Legislature; Reapportionment by Loyal Millett

ARTICLE III: LEGISLATURE, Section 1. Composition.

SECTION 1.Composition.

(a) LEGISLATURE. The legislative power of the state shall be vested in a legislature Legislature of the State of Florida, consisting of a senate Senate and a House of Representatives. composed of one senator elected from each senatorial district and a house of representatives composed of one member elected from each representative district.

(b) SENATE. The Senate shall consist of 47 members. One member shall be elected from each senatorial district.

(c) HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. The House of Representatives shall consist of 153 members. One member shall be elected from each representative district.

ARTICLE III: LEGISLATURE, Section 16. Legislative apportionment.

SECTION 16. Legislative apportionment.
  1. SENATORIAL AND REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICTS. The legislature at its regular session in the second year following each decennial census, by joint resolution, shall apportion the state in accordance with the constitution of the state and of the United States into not less than thirty nor more than forty consecutively numbered senatorial districts of either contiguous, overlapping or identical territory, and into not less than eighty nor more than one hundred twenty consecutively numbered representative districts of either contiguous, overlapping or identical territory. Should that session adjourn without adopting such joint resolution, the governor by proclamation shall reconvene the legislature within thirty days in special apportionment session which shall not exceed thirty consecutive days, during which no other business shall be transacted, and it shall be the mandatory duty of the legislature to adopt a joint resolution of apportionment.
  2. FAILURE OF LEGISLATURE TO APPORTION; JUDICIAL REAPPORTIONMENT. In the event a special apportionment session of the legislature finally adjourns without adopting a joint resolution of apportionment, the attorney general shall, within five days, petition the supreme court of the state to make such apportionment. No later than the sixtieth day after the filing of such petition, the supreme court shall file with the custodian of state records an order making such apportionment.
  3. JUDICIAL REVIEW OF APPORTIONMENT. Within fifteen days after the passage of the joint resolution of apportionment, the attorney general shall petition the supreme court of the state for a declaratory judgment determining the validity of the apportionment. The supreme court, in accordance with its rules, shall permit adversary interests to present their views and, within thirty days from the filing of the petition, shall enter its judgment.
  4. EFFECT OF JUDGMENT IN APPORTIONMENT; EXTRAORDINARY APPORTIONMENT SESSION. A judgment of the supreme court of the state determining the apportionment to be valid shall be binding upon all the citizens of the state. Should the supreme court determine that the apportionment made by the legislature is invalid, the governor by proclamation shall reconvene the legislature within five days thereafter in extraordinary apportionment session which shall not exceed fifteen days, during which the legislature shall adopt a joint resolution of apportionment conforming to the judgment of the supreme court.
  5. EXTRAORDINARY APPORTIONMENT SESSION; REVIEW OF APPORTIONMENT. Within fifteen days after the adjournment of an extraordinary apportionment session, the attorney general shall file a petition in the supreme court of the state setting forth the apportionment resolution adopted by the legislature, or if none has been adopted reporting that fact to the court. Consideration of the validity of a joint resolution of apportionment shall be had as provided for in cases of such joint resolution adopted at a regular or special apportionment session.
  6. JUDICIAL REAPPORTIONMENT. Should an extraordinary apportionment session fail to adopt a resolution of apportionment or should the supreme court determine that the apportionment made is invalid, the court shall, not later than sixty days after receiving the petition of the attorney general, file with the custodian of state records an order making such apportionment.

ARTICLE III: LEGISLATURE, Section 20. Standards for establishing congressional district boundaries.

SECTION 20. Standards for establishing congressional district boundaries.

In establishing congressional district boundaries:

  1. No apportionment plan or individual district shall be drawn with the intent to favor or disfavor a political party or an incumbent; and districts shall not be drawn with the intent or result of denying or abridging the equal opportunity of racial or language minorities to participate in the political process or to diminish their ability to elect representatives of their choice; and districts shall consist of contiguous territory.
  2. Unless compliance with the standards in this subsection conflicts with the standards in subsection (a) or with federal law, districts shall be as nearly equal in population as is practicable; districts shall be compact; and districts shall, where feasible, utilize existing political and geographical boundaries.
  3. The order in which the standards within subsections (a) and (b) of this section are set forth shall not be read to establish any priority of one standard over the other within that subsection.

ARTICLE III: LEGISLATURE, Section 21. Standards for establishing legislative district boundaries.

SECTION 21. Standards for establishing legislative district boundaries.

In establishing legislative district boundaries:

  1. No apportionment plan or district shall be drawn with the intent to favor or disfavor a political party or an incumbent; and districts shall not be drawn with the intent or result of denying or abridging the equal opportunity of racial or language minorities to participate in the political process or to diminish their ability to elect representatives of their choice; and districts shall consist of contiguous territory.
  2. Unless compliance with the standards in this subsection conflicts with the standards in subsection (a) or with federal law, districts shall be as nearly equal in population as is practicable; districts shall be compact; and districts shall, where feasible, utilize existing political and geographical boundaries.
  3. The order in which the standards within subsections (a) and (b) of this section are set forth shall not be read to establish any priority of one standard over the other within that subsection.

ARTICLE III: LEGISLATURE, New Section.

Catchline: Apportionment of legislative and congressional districts.

 

(a) REPRESENTATIVES IN CONGRESS. The reapportionment commission shall divide the State into as many congressional districts as there are representatives in Congress apportioned to this State by the Congress of the United States for the election of one representative to Congress from each district. When a new apportionment shall be made by Congress, the reapportionment commission shall divide the State into congressional districts accordingly.

(b) THE LEGISLATURE. The Legislature shall consist of 47 members of the Senate and of 153 members of the House of Representatives, one to be elected from each senatorial and each representative district, respectively.

(c) LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS. The State shall be divided into as many senatorial and representative districts as there are members of the Senate and House of Representatives respectively, each district in each house having a population as nearly equal as may be, as required by the Constitution of the United States, but in no event shall there be more than 5% deviation between the most populous and the least populous district in each house.

(d) COMPOSITION OF DISTRICTS.

(1) Each senatorial, representative, and congressional district shall be as compact in area as possible and the aggregate linear distance of all district boundaries shall be as short as possible. Each district shall consist of contiguous whole general election precincts. Districts of the same house shall not overlap.
(2) Except when necessary to meet the equal population requirements of subsection (c), no part of one county shall be added to all or part of another county in forming districts. Within counties whose territory is contained in more than one district of the same house, the number of cities and towns whose territory is contained in more than one district of the same house shall be as small as possible. When county, city, or town boundaries are changed, adjustments, if any, in legislative districts shall be as prescribed by law.
(3) Consistent with the provisions of this section, communities of interest, including ethnic, cultural, economic, trade area, geographic, and demographic factors, shall be preserved within a single district wherever possible.

(e) REVISION AND ALTERATION OF DISTRICTS; REAPPORTIONMENT COMMISSION.

(1) After each federal census of the United States, the senatorial districts, representative districts, and congressional districts shall be established, revised, or altered, and the members of the Senate, the House of Representatives, and congressional representatives apportioned among them, by a Reapportionment Commission consisting of 21 members, to be appointed and having the qualifications as prescribed in this section. Of such members, 4 shall be appointed by the legislative department, 3 by the executive department, and 4 by the judicial department of the state.
(2)(A) The President of the Senate, the Minority Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives shall each appoint 2 members to the commission no later than April 15 of each year ending in the numeral 1.

(B) The Governor shall appoint 5 members to the commission no later than the said April 15.

(C) The Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court shall appoint 4 members to the commission no later than the said April 15.
(3) Commission members shall be qualified electors of the State of Florida, and shall reflect the ethnic, cultural, and regional diversity of the State. No more than 6 commission members shall be affiliated with the same political party. No more than one commission member shall be residents of the same congressional district.
(4) Any vacancy created by the death or resignation of a member, or otherwise, shall be filled by the respective appointing authority. Members of the commission shall hold office until their reapportionment and redistricting plan is implemented. No later than May 15 of the year of their appointment, the Governor shall convene the commission and appoint a temporary chairman who shall preside until the commission elects its own officers.
(5) Within 113 days after the commission has been convened or the necessary census data are available, whichever is later, the commission shall publish a preliminary plan for reapportionment of the senatorial districts, the representative districts, and the congressional districts; and shall hold public hearings thereon in several places throughout the State within 45 days after the date of such publication. No later than 180 days after the commission has been convened, the commission shall finalize its plan and submit the same to the Florida Supreme Court for review and determination as to compliance with this section. Such review and determination shall take precedence over other matters before the court. The Supreme Court shall adopt rules for such proceedings and for the production and presentation of supportive evidence for such plan. Any legal arguments or evidence concerning such plan shall be submitted to the Supreme Court pursuant to the schedule established by the court; except that the final submission must be made no later than September 5 of the same year the commission was convened. The Supreme Court shall either approve the plan or return the plan and the court's reasons for disapproval to the commission. If the plan is returned, the commission shall revise and modify it to conform to the court's requirements and resubmit the plan to the court within the time period specified by the court. The Supreme Court shall approve a plan for the redrawing of the senatorial districts, representative districts, and congressional districts no later than October 15 of the same year the commission was convened. The court shall order that such plan be filed with the custodian of state records no later than such date. The commission shall keep a public record of all the proceedings of the commission and shall be responsible for the publication and distribution of copies of each plan.
(6) The Legislature shall appropriate sufficient funds for the compensation and payment of the expenses of the commission members and any staff employed by it. The commission shall have access to statistical information compiled by the State or its political subdivisions and necessary for its reapportionment duties.