The Latest: Florida Gov. won't force legislators to return

AP News
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Posted: Aug 21, 2015 5:54 PM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The latest on the Florida Legislature's special session to pass new congressional districts for the state (all times local).

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5 p.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott won't force legislators to return to the state Capitol.

The Legislature ended its 12-day special session on Friday without reaching an agreement on new congressional districts for the state.

Scott has the power to call legislators back to work. But a spokeswoman for the Republican governor said that Scott would not intervene in the dispute.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled in July that current districts don't meet a voter-approved constitutional amendment requiring districts to be compact and not drawn to benefit a political party or incumbents.

But House and Senate Republicans could not agree on a final map. Scott's decision to stay out of the battle makes it likely that the court will wind up drawing a new map for the state's 27 districts.

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Noon

The Florida Legislature is ending its 12-day special session without reaching an agreement on new congressional districts for the state.

The session ended at noon after House and Senate Republicans were unable to work out deep differences over the map.

Senators wanted to alter proposed districts in the Tampa Bay and central Florida area. But House members raised questions about whether or not the changes would be approved by the state Supreme Court.

The Senate tried to extend the session until next week but the House voted down that request twice.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled in July that the current districts don't meet a voter-approved constitutional amendment requiring districts to be compact and not drawn to benefit a political party or incumbents.

Legislators have until next week to finish work on a new map.

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11:20 a.m.

The Legislature remains deeply divided on the last day of a special session to redraw congressional districts.

Republican leaders on both sides remained at odds over how to change the state's 27 districts. The Florida Senate voted on Friday to extend the session until next Tuesday but it's not clear if the House will go along.

Top GOP legislators held a meeting on Friday to discuss their differences but senators walked out on their House counterparts. The two sides are divided on a handful of congressional districts in the Tampa Bay and central Florida region.

If legislators can't agree on a new map then the job of drawing a new map could fall to the Florida Supreme Court.

The court ruled in July that the current districts don't meet a voter-approved constitutional amendment that requires districts be compact and not drawn to benefit a political party or incumbents