You have heard it before. But State Sen. Bill Galvano said as he prepares to lead the new redistricting panel to redraw Florida’s Congressional Districts, he has one key goal.
“We want to make sure we do everything in the most transparent way possible,” the Bradenton Republican said.
Galvano was assigned to lead the redistricting of new Congressional lines for the Florida Senate for a special session set to begin on Aug. 10. State Rep. Jose Oliva, R-Miami, will chair the House redistricting.
The new redistricting effort comes just weeks after the Florida Supreme Court ruled that Republican operatives had conducted a “shadow redistricting process” during the first redistricting effort in 2012, which at the time was publicized by Republicans as the most transparent process ever.
Galvano said the key this time is that the Supreme Court’s decision gives the Legislature clear instructions on what staff, legal counsel and the legislators themselves are not allowed to do.
“We’re going to have to be very cognizant of how we present things,” Galvano said.
He said Senate staff, with help from the legal counsel, will be charged with create a map on their own, which members of the Senate will have no access to. He said the staff is essentially sequestered to do their job and the Senate will talk and debate what they do in a public open setting in August.
Galvano said he himself is going to make sure any political players who want to influence him understand up front that he is not going to talk about the redistricting effort with them out of the public eye. Even at political events, Galvano said legislators have to make clear they are not talking about it. That includes events like a golf fundraiser state Senators held in Pebble Beach, California earlier this week that included Senate President Andy Gardiner.
“It’s a matter of being disciplined,” Galvano said in a telephone nterview from the Pebble Beach fundraising event.
Original article here.