House Speaker turns down US Reps request for hearings

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli is turning down a request from 15 members of Congress to hold statewide public hearings before the Legislature draws new congressional districts.

Republican and Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to legislative leaders on Thursday asking for the hearings.

Last week the state Supreme Court ruled the state’s congressional maps don’t meet the requirements of a voter-approved constitutional amendment that prohibits political lines from being drawn to favor incumbents or a political party.

The court gave the Legislature 100 days to change the boundaries of eight existing districts. These changes could affect many more of the state’s 27 congressional districts. Lawmakers are expected to hold a special session in the next few weeks.

Crisafulli in a statement said legisaltors don’t have enough time to hold hearings. He said instead that legislators will take public testimony at the state Capitol prior to a final vote.

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