May 20, 2022
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COLUMBUS, Ohio — With just a few short weeks until the legislature has to submit a new congressional redistribution card to the Ohio Supreme Court, Senate Republicans will be busting that popsicle for sunny Florida.

On Thursday and Friday, the caucus’ political fundraising arm, the Ohio Senate Campaign Committee, is hosting events for wealthy donors and lawmakers on Amelia Island outside of Jacksonville, according to a copy of the invite obtained by and The Simple Dealer .

The event includes a VIP reception Thursday at 5:00 p.m. for those who donate $20,000 or $10,000 to the campaign committee. At 10:00 a.m. Friday, donors who donated $10,000 or $20,000 play golf at the Oak Marsh Golf Course, located at the Omni Amelia Island Resort.

The main event is on Friday at 6pm, which is relatively cheaper, in the Oceanview Room & Terrace at the Omni. People can participate with as little as $1,000.

Conde Nast Traveler named Omnia Amelia Island Resort one of the 2012 Top 121 Golf Resorts and Hotels. The resort overlooks the Atlantic Seaboard.

Hanging over lawmakers this year is the Congressional redistribution card deadline.

On January 14, the Ohio Supreme Court struck down the card as an unconstitutional gerrymander. Legislators have until mid-February to draw new maps.

If it is not possible to submit a new card, the Ohio District Commission may try. But that may raise issues with the deadline for congressional candidates to run in the primary, which is early March.

Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman would lead lawmakers in redrawing the map. He is also a member of the Ohio District Commission. It is not yet certain whether he will go to Florida. and The Plain Dealer contacted him to discuss the fundraiser.

Each year, the Ohio Senate Campaign Committee hosts an event in Florida when Ohio falls in the dead of winter. No tax money will be used for the trip. The Ohio Senate Campaign Committee and individual Senators’ campaign committees foot the bill.

For example, in February 2020, Republican senators traveled to Key West. At the time, lawmakers were debating a bill that would change the EdChoice voucher program for private schools. A public hearing had been scheduled for people on all sides of the voucher debate to testify at the same time lawmakers were in Florida.

Some wealthy Ohioans have second homes in Florida. After fundraising events, lawmakers usually stay over the weekend, meeting privately with lobbyists and other supporters, fishing, and participating in other activities.

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