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               DATE:              Monday; January 7, 2002
              
               TIME:              Commenced:  10:06 a.m.
                                  Concluded:  10:15 a.m.
              
               LOCATION:          402 South Monroe Street
                                  306-H House Office Building
                                  Tallahassee, Florida
              
               REPORTED BY:       Laurie L. Gilbert
                                  Registered Professional Reporter
                                  Certified Court Reporter
                                  Certified Realtime Reporter
                                  Certified Merit Reporter
                                  Notary Public in and for the
                                    State of Florida at Large
              
              
              
              
              
              
              
              
              
              
                         ACCURATE STENOTYPE REPORTERS, INC.
                                  100 SALEM COURT
                             TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32301
                                    850/878-2221
              
 
 
 
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               APPEARANCES:
              
                              REPRESENTATIVE BRUCE KYLE, Chairman
                              REPRESENTATIVE JOYCE CUSACK
                              REPRESENTATIVE PAULA BONO DOCKERY
                              REPRESENTATIVE RENE GARCIA
                              REPRESENTATIVE JIM KALLINGER
                              REPRESENTATIVE SUZANNE M. KOSMAS
                              REPRESENTATIVE DICK KRAVITZ
                              REPRESENTATIVE JERRY G. MELVIN
                              REPRESENTATIVE STACY J. RITTER
                              REPRESENTATIVE DENNIS A. ROSS       
              
                                       *   *   *
              
                                     I N D E X
                                                               
                                                            PAGE
              
                    Meeting Commenced                        3
                    Meeting Concluded                       12
              
               CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER                      13
              
                                       *   *   *
              
                       
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
 
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         1                    P R O C E E D I N G S
         2              CHAIRMAN KYLE:  All right.  I think we're 
         3          going to get started.
         4              Would the Administrative Assistant call the 
         5          role, please.
         6              MR. MAST:  Representative Cusack?
         7              REPRESENTATIVE CUSACK:  Here.
         8              MR. MAST:  Dockery?
         9              REPRESENTATIVE DOCKERY:  Here.
        10              MR. MAST:  Garcia?
        11              REPRESENTATIVE GARCIA:  Here.
        12              MR. MAST:  Jennings?
        13              Kallinger?
        14              REPRESENTATIVE KALLINGER:  Here.
        15              MR. MAST:  Kosmas?
        16              REPRESENTATIVE KOSMAS:  Here.
        17              MR. MAST:  Kravitz?
        18              REPRESENTATIVE KRAVITZ:  Here.
        19              MR. MAST:  Lacasa?
        20              Lee?
        21              Melvin?
        22              REPRESENTATIVE MELVIN:  Here.
        23              MR. MAST:  Ritter.
        24              REPRESENTATIVE RITTER:  Here.
        25              MR. MAST:  Ross.
 
                        ACCURATE STENOTYPE REPORTERS, INC.
 
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         1              REPRESENTATIVE ROSS:  Here.
         2              CHAIRMAN KYLE:  I -- I'm here, too. 
         3              A quorum's present.
         4              MR. MAST:  Okay. 
         5              CHAIRMAN KYLE:  Today -- today we're having 
         6          a -- public testimony on -- on proposed plans 
         7          from the public.  And it's -- notices were sent 
         8          out to all the interested parties. 
         9              And we have Ben Wilcox from Common Cause to 
        10          present their plan for Senate Redistricting. 
        11              And you're recognized, sir.
        12              MR. WILCOX:  I guess -- I don't know -- if 
        13          there's a better place to --
        14              CHAIRMAN KYLE:  And also, once again, if 
        15          you have a question or you're going to speak, 
        16          please state your name, because the 
        17          stenographer -- I'm sure she'd appreciate that, 
        18          and keep the record clean.
        19              MR. WILCOX:  All right.  Good morning, 
        20          members of the committee. 
        21              Mr. Chairman, I'm Ben Wilcox, Director of 
        22          Common Cause Florida.  Thank you for allowing 
        23          me the opportunity to speak to you today. 
        24              The redistricting plan that we have brought 
        25          to you today is the work product of 
 
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         1          Common Cause Florida, and the Florida League of 
         2          Women Voters. 
         3              I'm not going to stand here and tell you 
         4          that it's perfect.  I'm sure there are 
         5          improvements that can be made.  But this map 
         6          represents our best effort to draw a 
         7          redistricting plan, based on the standards that 
         8          we have been advocating, standards that we 
         9          believe the Legislature should use in drawing 
        10          its plans.
        11              The standards we used in drawing this map 
        12          are as follows:  The first standard is the 
        13          districts were drawn to be as equal in 
        14          population as possible.  Basically with this 
        15          plan, we've achieved zero deviation. 
        16              Number two, the districts were drawn to be 
        17          as compact, and composed of contiguous 
        18          territory as possible, and to respect local 
        19          political subdivision boundaries.
        20              Number three, the districts were drawn so 
        21          as not to dilute the voting strength of any 
        22          racial, ethnic, or language minority group. 
        23              Based on the legal advice that we received, 
        24          we made the decision to keep the 
        25          minority/majority voting districts in the 
 
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         1          current plan intact. 
         2              While those districts are often cited as 
         3          examples of gerrymandering, we felt like we had 
         4          to maintain the percentages as closely as 
         5          possible in order for the plan to be legally 
         6          sound, and comply with the -- with the Federal 
         7          voting rights act.
         8              And Number 4, the final standard, the 
         9          districts were not drawn to favor any incumbent 
        10          person or political party.  In fact, in drawing 
        11          this plan, we never even looked at the -- the 
        12          political history data that's contained in 
        13          the -- in the FREDS software. 
        14              So to summarize our plan, we have zero 
        15          deviation, we've maintained five 
        16          minority/majority districts in the current 
        17          plan, and we have tried to make the districts 
        18          as compact, contiguous, and respecting of 
        19          political subdivision boundaries as possible.
        20              Thank you again for allowing me to speak to 
        21          you. 
        22              I'd be happy to try to answer any 
        23          questions.
        24              I'd also be glad to work with any members 
        25          who might be interested in sponsoring all or 
 
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         1          parts of this plan.
         2              CHAIRMAN KYLE:  Are there any questions? 
         3              Representative Dockery, you're recognized.
         4              REPRESENTATIVE DOCKERY:  Are there handouts 
         5          so we can get a better look? 
         6              MR. WILCOX:  Well, it's been sub-- this -- 
         7          this plan has been submitted to the -- to the 
         8          House committee.  I didn't bring --
         9              CHAIRMAN KYLE:  We can get copies for 
        10          everybody.
        11              REPRESENTATIVE DOCKERY:  Great. 
        12              Thank you.
        13              MR. WILCOX:  I can pass these out.  
        14          These --
        15              CHAIRMAN KYLE:  Are -- are there any other 
        16          questions for Mr. Wilcox?
        17              You're recognized, Representative Melvin.
        18              REPRESENTATIVE MELVIN:  You said you 
        19          maintained majority -- I mean, 
        20          majority/minority districts even though you 
        21          said they are gerrymandering. 
        22              Are you admitting that you're 
        23          gerrymandering? 
        24              MR. WILCOX:  Well, those are districts that 
        25          are -- are in the current plan that -- that we 
 
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         1          are operating under right now. 
         2              You know, we may not like the shapes of 
         3          those districts.  I mean, they're -- they're 
         4          not the prettiest, you know, districts in the 
         5          world. 
         6              But, as I said, the legal advice that we've 
         7          received since those districts have already 
         8          gone through the -- the courts one time, and -- 
         9          and have been upheld, we felt like to do away 
        10          with those districts would put us out of 
        11          compliance with the Federal Voting Rights Act.
        12              REPRESENTATIVE MELVIN:  A follow-up?
        13              CHAIRMAN KYLE:  You're recognized for a 
        14          follow-up.
        15              REPRESENTATIVE MELVIN:  I -- I don't know 
        16          how to put this question without just being 
        17          blunt and frank.  If it's so bad, why would you 
        18          approve it, rather than trying to make sure it 
        19          was done correctly, rather than gerrymandering? 
        20              MR. WILCOX:  Right.
        21              Well, I mean, that's a good question.  
        22          That's -- and that's really something that we 
        23          really struggled with. 
        24              But in the end, we decided that we needed 
        25          to try to draw a realistic plan that would be 
 
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         1          legally sound. 
         2              We could have -- we could have drawn a plan 
         3          that just had really nice, you know, compact, 
         4          contiguous districts, nicely shaped, it would 
         5          look -- it would look really good, but we don't 
         6          think it would hold up in court. 
         7              So we don't -- didn't think it would be a 
         8          realistic plan.
         9              CHAIRMAN KYLE:  You're recognized for a 
        10          follow-up.
        11              REPRESENTATIVE MELVIN:  But you told us at 
        12          the beginning, that you used the guidelines of 
        13          compactness and lines of cities and counties. 
        14              So you're not doing that, you're -- 
        15          you're -- you know, you shouldn't say that 
        16          you're doing it if you're going to gerrymander.
        17              MR. WILCOX:  No.  It's -- the other 
        18          standard that I enunciated was the standard 
        19          that we were not diluting the voting strength 
        20          of racial, ethnic, and language minority 
        21          groups. 
        22              So, you know, we had -- it's basically a 
        23          conflict in those two standards, and we -- but 
        24          we felt like we had to start by maintaining the 
        25          minority/majority access districts, or else the 
 
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         1          plan would not hold up in court. 
         2              Once we did that, we -- we tried as best we 
         3          could to make every district compact and 
         4          contiguous.
         5              CHAIRMAN KYLE:  Representative Ritter, 
         6          you're recognized for a question.
         7              REPRESENTATIVE RITTER:  Thank you, 
         8          Mr. Chairman.
         9              I'm sorry.
        10              Thank you, Mr. Chair. 
        11              Just for your information, those -- those 
        12          of us that live in Broward and Palm Beach 
        13          County do not like to be lumped into the Miami 
        14          metropolitan area.
        15              So if you could in the future, when you're 
        16          doing your maps, put maybe southeast Florida.  
        17          Because those of us that live in Broward and 
        18          Palm Beach get very unhappy when we're lumped 
        19          into Miami Metro.
        20              Thank you.  Hate it.
        21              CHAIRMAN KYLE:  I think you got it.
        22              Are there any other questions for 
        23          Mr. Wilcox?
        24              Seeing none, thank you for -- for 
        25          presenting your plan.  We'll make sure 
 
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         1          everybody gets a copy from the -- from the 
         2          committee.
         3              MR. WILCOX:  Thank you very much. 
         4              CHAIRMAN KYLE:  Is there any other public 
         5          testimony?
         6              REPRESENTATIVE MELVIN:  Mr. Chairman, I do 
         7          have one more.  I'm sorry.
         8              CHAIRMAN KYLE:  You're recognized, 
         9          Representative Melvin.
        10              REPRESENTATIVE MELVIN:  One of the -- the 
        11          guidelines that we had in -- in our beginning 
        12          was that we're going to try to get like 
        13          communities together. 
        14              I see in northwest Florida, and in some of 
        15          the other areas, you have lumped the 
        16          agricultural areas in with the beach areas, and 
        17          the -- so forth. 
        18              So that's basically one of the things 
        19          that -- that our committee had talked about in 
        20          the beginning was to make sure like economical 
        21          areas were grouped together.
        22              MR. WILCOX:  Uh-hum. 
        23              Well, the problem is, if you -- I mean, if 
        24          you tried to draw districts that just 
        25          encompassed the coastal areas, then you lose 
 
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         1          the county boundaries is what we found. 
         2              So rather than, you know, taking that tact, 
         3          we've tried to keep the -- the counties intact 
         4          as much as possible.
         5              CHAIRMAN KYLE:  Are there any further 
         6          questions for Mr. Wilcox?
         7              Seeing none, thank you once again.
         8              Are there any other members of the public 
         9          who would like to present a plan at this point 
        10          in time, or would like to comment on the plan 
        11          that has been presented?
        12              Seeing none, if there's -- is there any 
        13          further business that any of the members want 
        14          to bring up?
        15              Seeing none, Representative Dockery moves 
        16          we rise. 
        17              We're adjourned. 
        18              (The (House) Senate Redistricting Committee 
        19          meeting was concluded at 10:15 a.m.)
        20                                
        21     
        22     
        23     
        24     
        25     
 
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         1                    CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER
         2     
         3     
         4     
         5     STATE OF FLORIDA:
         6     COUNTY OF LEON:
         7              I, LAURIE L. GILBERT, do hereby certify that 
         8     the foregoing proceedings were taken before me at the 
         9     time and place therein designated; that my shorthand 
        10     notes were thereafter translated; and the foregoing 
        11     pages numbered 1 through 12 are a true and correct 
        12     record of the aforesaid proceedings.
        13              I FURTHER CERTIFY that I am not a relative, 
        14     employee, attorney or counsel of any of the parties, 
        15     nor relative or employee of such attorney or counsel, 
        16     or financially interested in the foregoing action.
        17              DATED THIS 14TH day of JANUARY, 2002. 
        18     
        19     
              
        20    
              
        21    
              
        22    
              
        23                                                        
                             LAURIE L. GILBERT, RPR, CCR, CRR, RMR
        24                   100 Salem Court
                             Tallahassee, Florida 32301
        25                   850/878-2221
 
                        ACCURATE STENOTYPE REPORTERS, INC.