|Florida House of Representatives|
|2016–18 Florida Legislature|
Lower house of the Florida Legislature
|4 terms (8 years)|
|Founded||May 26, 1845|
|Preceded by||Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida|
New session started
|January 9, 2018|
Speaker of the House
Richard Corcoran (R)
House Speaker Pro Tempore
Jeanette Núñez (R)
House Majority Leader
Ray Rodrigues (R)
House Minority Leader
Janet Cruz (D)
Length of term
|Authority||Article III, Florida Constitution|
|Salary||$18,000/year + per diem (Subsistence & Travel)|
|November 8, 2016|
|November 6, 2018|
|In God We Trust|
|House of Representatives Chamber|
The Florida House of Representatives is the lower house of the Legislature of the U.S. State of Florida. Along with the Senate, it composes the Florida Legislature. Article III, Section 1 of the Florida Constitution, adopted in 1968, defines the role of the Legislature and how it is to be constituted. The House is composed of 120 members, each elected from a single-member district with a population of approximately 157,000 residents. Legislative districts are drawn on the basis of population figures, provided by the federal decennial census. Senators' terms begin immediately, upon their election. As of 2018, Republicans hold the majority in the State House with 76 seats; Democrats hold the minority with 41 seats. Three seats are currently vacant, due to resignations. The House Chamber is located in the State Capitol building.
Members of the House of Representatives are referred to as Representatives. Because this shadows the terminology used to describe members of U.S. House of Representatives, constituents and the news media, using The Associated Press Stylebook, often refer to members as State Representatives to avoid confusion with their Federal counterparts.
Article III of the Florida Constitution defines the terms for State Legislators.
The Constitution requires State Representatives to be elected for two-year terms.
Legislators take office immediately, upon election.
On November 3, 1992, almost 77 percent of Florida voters backed Amendment 9, the Florida Term Limits Amendment, which amended the State Constitution, to enact eight-year term limits on federal and state officials. Under the Amendment, former members can be elected again after a two-year break. In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not enact congressional term limits, but ruled that the state level term limits remain.
Each legislator shall be at least twenty-one years of age, an elector and resident of the District from which elected and shall have resided in the state for a period of two years prior to election.
Each year during which the Legislature meets constitutes a new Legislative Session.
Legislators start Committee activity in September of the year prior to the Regular Legislative Session. Because Florida is a part-time legislature, this is necessary to allow legislators time to work their bills through the Committee process, prior to the Regular Legislative Session.
Regular Legislative Session
The Florida Legislature meets in a 60-day Regular Legislative Session each year. Regular Legislative Sessions in odd-numbered years must begin on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March. Under the State Constitution, the Legislature can begin even-numbered year Regular Legislative Sessions at a time of its choosing.
Prior to 1991, the Regular Legislative Session began in April. Senate Joint Resolution 380 (1989) proposed to the voters a Constitutional Amendment (approved November 1990) that shifted the starting date of Regular Legislative Session from April to February. Subsequently, Senate Joint Resolution 2606 (1994) proposed to the voters a Constitutional Amendment (approved November 1994) shifting the start date to March, where it remains. The reason for the "first Tuesday after the first Monday" requirement stems back to the time when Regular Legislative Session began in April. Regular Legislative Session could start any day from April 2 through April 8, but never on April 1 – April Fool's Day. In recent years, the Legislature has opted to start in January in order to allow lawmakers to be home with their families during school spring breaks, and to give more time ahead of the legislative elections in the Fall.
On the fourteenth day following each General Election, the Legislature meets for an Organizational Session to organize and select officers.
Special Legislative Sessions may be called by the Governor, by a joint proclamation of the Senate President and House Speaker, or by a three-fifths vote of all Legislators. During any Special Session the Legislature may only address legislative business that is within the purview of the purpose or purposes stated in the Special Session Proclamation.
Powers and process
The Florida House is authorized by the Florida Constitution to create and amend the laws of the U.S. state of Florida, subject to the Governor's power to veto legislation. To do so, Legislators propose legislation in the forms of bills drafted by a nonpartisan, professional staff. Successful legislation must undergo Committee review, three readings on the floor of each house, with appropriate voting majorities, as required, and either be signed into law by the Governor or enacted through a veto override approved by two-thirds of the membership of each legislative house.
Its statutes, called "chapter laws" or generically as "slip laws" when printed separately, are compiled into the Laws of Florida and are called "session laws". The Florida Statutes are the codified statutory laws of the state.
In 2009, legislators filed 2,138 bills for consideration. On average, the Legislature has passed about 300 bills into law annually.
In 2013, the Legislature filed about 2000 bills. About 1000 of these are "member bills." The remainder are bills by committees responsible for certain functions, such as budget. In 2016, about 15% of the bills were passed. In 2017, 1,885 lobbyists registered to represent 3,724 entities.
The House also has the power to propose Amendments to the Florida Constitution. Additionally, the House has the exclusive power to impeach officials, who are then tried by the Senate.
The House is headed by the Speaker of the House. The Speaker of the House is elected by the members of the Chamber to a two-year term. The Speaker has the power to preside over the Chamber during Session, to appoint committee members and chairs of committees, to influence the placement of bills on the calendar, and to rule on procedural motions. The Speaker Pro Tempore presides if the Speaker leaves the Chair or if there is a vacancy. The Speaker, along with the Senate President and Governor of Florida, control most of the agenda of state business in Florida.
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
|End of previous legislature||81||37||1||119||1|
|Begin (November 2016)||79||41||0||120||0|
|May 18, 2017||78||119||1|
|August 15, 2017||77||118||2|
|September 1, 2017||76||117||3|
|September 26, 2017|
|October 10, 2017||77||118||2|
|November 1, 2017||40||117||3|
|November 24, 2017||76||116||4|
|December 19, 2017||77||117||3|
|December 24, 2017||76||116||4|
|February 13, 2018||41||117||3|
|Latest voting share||7001650000000000000♠65%||7001350000000000000♠35%|
|District||Name||Party||Residence||Counties represented||First Elected|
|1||Clay Ingram||Rep||Pensacola||Part of Escambia||2010|
|2||Frank White||Rep||Pensacola||Parts of Escambia and Santa Rosa||2016|
|3||Jayer Williamson||Rep||Pace||Parts of Okaloosa and Santa Rosa||2016|
|4||Mel Ponder||Rep||Destin||Part of Okaloosa||2016|
|5||Brad Drake||Rep||DeFuniak Springs||Holmes, Jackson, Walton, Washington, part of Bay||2014,|
|6||Jay Trumbull||Rep||Panama City||Part of Bay||2014|
|7||Halsey Beshears||Rep||Monticello||Calhoun, Franklin, Gulf, Jefferson, Lafayette, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla, part of Leon||2012|
|8||Ramon Alexander||Dem||Tallahassee||Gadsden, part of Leon||2016|
|9||Loranne Ausley||Dem||Tallahassee||Part of Leon||2016,|
|10||Elizabeth W. Porter||Rep||Lake City||Baker, Columbia, Hamilton, Suwannee, part of Alachua||2010|
|11||Cord Byrd||Rep||Neptune Beach||Nassau, part of Duval||2016|
|12||Clay Yarborough||Rep||Jacksonville||Part of Duval||2016|
|13||Tracie Davis||Dem||Jacksonville||Part of Duval||2016|
|14||Kimberly Daniels||Dem||Jacksonville||Part of Duval||2016|
|15||Jay Fant||Rep||Jacksonville||Part of Duval||2014|
|16||Jason Fischer||Rep||Jacksonville||Part of Duval||2016|
|17||Cyndi Stevenson||Rep||St. Augustine||Part of St. Johns||2015|
|18||Travis Cummings||Rep||Orange Park||Part of Clay||2012|
|19||Bobby Payne||Rep||Palatka||Bradford, Putnam, Union, part of Clay||2016|
|20||Clovis Watson, Jr.||Dem||Alachua||Parts of Alachua and Marion||2012|
|21||Chuck Clemons||Rep||Newberry||Dixie, Gilchrist, part of Alachua||2016|
|22||Charlie Stone||Rep||Ocala||Levy, part of Marion||2012|
|23||Stan McClain||Rep||Belleview||Part of Marion||2016|
|24||Paul Renner||Rep||Palm Coast||Flagler, parts of St. Johns and Volusia||2015|
|25||Tom Leek||Rep||Ormond Beach||Part of Volusia||2016|
|26||Patrick Henry||Dem||Daytona Beach||Part of Volusia||2016|
|27||David Santiago||Rep||Deltona||Part of Volusia||2012|
|28||Jason Brodeur||Rep||Sanford||Part of Seminole||2010|
|29||Scott Plakon||Rep||Longwood||Part of Seminole||2014,|
|30||Bob Cortes||Rep||Altamonte Springs||Parts of Orange and Seminole||2014|
|31||Jennifer Sullivan||Rep||Mount Dora||Parts of Lake and Orange||2014|
|32||Larry Metz||Rep||Yalaha||Part of Lake||2010|
|33||Vacant||Sumter, parts of Lake and Marion|
|34||Ralph Massullo Jr.||Rep||Lecanto||Citrus, part of Hernando||2016|
|35||Blaise Ingoglia||Rep||Spring Hill||Part of Hernando||2014|
|36||Amber Mariano||Rep||Hudson||Part of Pasco||2016|
|37||Richard Corcoran||Rep||Land O' Lakes||Part of Pasco||2010|
|38||Danny Burgess||Rep||Zephyrhills||Part of Pasco||2014|
|39||Vacant||Parts of Osceola and Polk|
|40||Colleen Burton||Rep||Lakeland||Part of Polk||2014|
|41||Sam Killebrew||Rep||Winter Haven||Part of Polk||2016|
|42||Mike La Rosa||Rep||St. Cloud||Parts of Osceola and Polk||2012|
|43||John Cortes||Dem||Kissimmee||Part of Osceola||2014|
|44||Bobby Olszewski||Rep||Winter Garden||Part of Orange||2017|
|45||Kamia Brown||Dem||Orlando||Part of Orange||2016|
|46||Bruce Antone||Dem||Orlando||Part of Orange||2012|
|47||Mike Miller||Rep||Orlando||Part of Orange||2014|
|48||Amy Mercado||Dem||Orlando||Part of Orange||2016|
|49||Carlos Guillermo Smith||Dem||Orlando||Part of Orange||2016|
|50||Rene Plasencia||Rep||Orlando||Parts of Brevard and Orange||2014|
|51||Tom Goodson||Rep||Titusville||Part of Brevard||2010|
|52||Thad Altman||Rep||Rockledge||Part of Brevard||2016,|
|53||Randy Fine||Rep||Melbourne Beach||Part of Brevard||2016|
|54||Erin Grall||Rep||Vero Beach||Indian River, part of St. Lucie||2016|
|55||Cary Pigman||Rep||Avon Park||Glades, Highlands, Okeechobee, part of St. Lucie||2012|
|56||Ben Albritton||Rep||Wauchula||DeSoto, Hardee, part of Polk||2010|
|57||Jake Raburn||Rep||Lithia||Part of Hillsborough||2012|
|58||Lawrence McClure||Rep||Dover||Part of Hillsborough||2017|
|59||Ross Spano||Rep||Dover||Part of Hillsborough||2012|
|60||Jackie Toledo||Rep||Tampa||Part of Hillsborough||2016|
|61||Sean Shaw||Dem||Tampa||Part of Hillsborough||2016|
|62||Janet Cruz||Dem||Tampa||Part of Hillsborough||2010|
|63||Shawn Harrison||Rep||Tampa||Part of Hillsborough||2014|
|64||J. W. Grant||Rep||Tampa||Parts of Hillsborough and Pinellas||2015,|
|65||Chris Sprowls||Rep||Palm Harbor||Part of Pinellas||2014|
|66||Larry Ahern||Rep||Seminole||Part of Pinellas||2010|
|67||Chris Latvala||Rep||Clearwater||Part of Pinellas||2014|
|68||Ben Diamond||Dem||St. Petersburg||Part of Pinellas||2016|
|69||Kathleen Peters||Rep||South Pasadena||Part of Pinellas||2012|
|70||Wengay Newton||Dem||St. Petersburg||Parts of Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas, Sarasota||2016|
|71||Jim Boyd||Rep||Bradenton||Parts of Manatee and Sarasota||2010|
|72||Margaret Good||Dem||Sarasota||Parts of Sarasota||2018|
|73||Joe Gruters||Rep||Sarasota||Parts of Manatee and Sarasota||2016|
|74||Julio Gonzalez||Rep||Venice||Part of Sarasota||2014|
|75||Michael J. Grant||Rep||Port Charlotte||Charlotte||2016,|
|76||Ray Rodrigues||Rep||Estero||Part of Lee||2012|
|77||Dane Eagle||Rep||Cape Coral||Part of Lee||2012|
|78||Heather Fitzenhagen||Rep||Fort Myers||Part of Lee||2012|
|79||Matt Caldwell||Rep||Lehigh Acres||Part of Lee||2010|
|80||Byron Donalds||Rep||Naples||Hendry, part of Collier||2016|
|81||Joe Abruzzo||Dem||Wellington||Part of Palm Beach||2016,|
|82||MaryLynn Magar||Rep||Tequesta||Parts of Martin and Palm Beach||2012|
|83||Gayle Harrell||Rep||Stuart||Parts of Martin and St. Lucie||2010,|
|84||Larry Lee, Jr.||Dem||Port St. Lucie||Part of St. Lucie||2012|
|85||Rick Roth||Rep||Loxahatchee||Part of Palm Beach||2016|
|86||Matt Willhite||Dem||Wellington||Part of Palm Beach||2016|
|87||David Silvers||Dem||West Palm Beach||Part of Palm Beach||2016|
|88||Al Jacquet||Dem||Lantana||Part of Palm Beach||2016|
|89||Bill Hager||Rep||Delray Beach||Part of Palm Beach||2010|
|90||Lori Berman||Dem||Lantana||Part of Palm Beach||2010|
|91||Emily Slosberg||Dem||Boca Raton||Part of Palm Beach||2016|
|92||Patricia Hawkins-Williams||Dem||Lauderdale Lakes||Part of Broward||2016|
|93||George Moraitis||Rep||Fort Lauderdale||Part of Broward||2010|
|94||Bobby DuBose||Dem||Fort Lauderdale||Part of Broward||2014|
|95||Barrington Russell||Dem||Lauderdale Lakes||Part of Broward||2016|
|96||Kristin Jacobs||Dem||Pompano Beach||Part of Broward||2014|
|97||Jared Moskowitz||Dem||Coral Springs||Part of Broward||2012|
|98||Katie Edwards-Walpole||Dem||Plantation||Part of Broward||2012|
|99||Evan Jenne||Dem||Hollywood||Part of Broward||2014|
|100||Joe Geller||Dem||Aventura||Parts of Broward and Miami-Dade||2014|
|101||Shevrin D. Jones||Dem||West Park||Part of Broward||2012|
|102||Sharon Pritchett||Dem||Miami Gardens||Parts of Broward and Miami-Dade||2012|
|103||Manny Díaz, Jr.||Rep||Hialeah||Parts of Broward and Miami-Dade||2010|
|104||Richard Stark||Dem||Weston||Part of Broward||2012|
|105||Carlos Trujillo||Rep||Miami||Parts of Broward, Collier, and Miami-Dade||2010|
|106||Bob Rommel||Rep||Naples||Part of Collier||2016|
|107||Barbara Watson||Dem||Miami Gardens||Part of Miami-Dade||2011|
|108||Roy Hardemon||Dem||Miami||Part of Miami-Dade||2016|
|109||Cynthia Stafford||Dem||Miami||Part of Miami-Dade||2010|
|110||José R. Oliva||Rep||Miami Lakes||Part of Miami-Dade||2011|
|111||Bryan Avila||Rep||Hialeah||Part of Miami-Dade||2014|
|112||Nicholas Duran||Dem||Miami||Part of Miami-Dade||2016|
|113||David Richardson||Dem||Miami Beach||Part of Miami-Dade||2012|
|114||Vacant||Part of Miami-Dade|
|115||Michael Bileca||Rep||Miami||Part of Miami-Dade||2010|
|116||Daniel Perez||Rep||Miami||Part of Miami-Dade||2017|
|117||Kionne McGhee||Dem||Miami||Part of Miami-Dade||2012|
|118||Robert Asencio||Dem||Miami||Part of Miami-Dade||2016|
|119||Jeanette Núñez||Rep||Miami||Part of Miami-Dade||2010|
|120||Holly Merrill Raschein||Rep||Key Largo||Monroe and part of Miami-Dade||2012|
A bill that has passed both houses of the legislature. See Law.
The recess of a legislative house until a later stated time or until the time fixed by its rules for reconvening. Sine die adjournment is the final adjournment of a legislative session. Each house adjourns after its daily session and adjourns sine die at the end of each session.
The favorable agreement by vote of an amendment, motion, resolution, or memorial.
The list of business (including proposed legislation) to be considered at a committee meeting or during a hearing.
A proposal to change a procedural motion or proposed legislation. Types and versions of amendments include:
Recommended changes to a bill, which a committee has agreed upon. By motion, each adopted committee amendment accompanies the bill reported favorably out of committee for floor consideration. When the bill goes to the floor, the committee amendment must be considered before any other amendment may be taken up.
A proposal offered by one or more legislators for consideration in the respective chamber.
A non-substantive amendment used to correct errors such as spelling, numbering, incorrect coding or directory language.
Sometimes called a bill analysis or staff analysis, it is prepared by the staff of each committee of reference. It summarizes the bill and explains the current law affected by the bill, the likely impact of the bill, any constitutional issues raised by the bill, and committee amendments, if any, are summarized.
Apportionment and redistricting
Legislative action required following each decennial census, fixing the size of each house of the Florida Legislature and drawing legislative and congressional district boundaries to provide representation in the Florida Legislature and the U.S. Congress for the people of the state.
A legislature having two houses; in Florida, these two houses are the Senate and the House of Representatives.
A two-year period. This term is often used to describe the two-year term of the Florida Legislature that begins in November of an even-numbered year and ends in November of the next even-numbered year. See Legislature, the Florida.
Bill (SB, HB)
A proposed act filed in either house of the legislature. Types and versions of bills include:
Appropriations, Implementing, and Conforming bills
The general appropriations bill authorizes the spending of public money for specific uses, including salaries of public officers and other current expenses of the state. The implementing bill contains provisions necessary to effect the general appropriations bill. These bills are effective for one fiscal year only.
A conforming bill is a bill that amends the Florida Statutes to provide for specific changes in the general appropriations bill.
A bill that presents a claim to compensate a particular individual or entity for injuries or losses caused by the negligence or error of a public officer or agency.
A bill that is the product of a legislative committee rather than an individual legislator.
Committee Substitute (CS or C1)
A Senate bill going through the committee hearing process sometimes has numerous amendments, or the amendments change the original concept of the bill. In these instances the bill is rewritten and becomes a committee substitute. The next committee of reference may again rewrite the bill, and more than one bill may be combined. The committee substitute continues to carry the identifying number of the original bill filed. A CS/CS or C2 is a Committee Substitute for Committee Substitute.
A bill introduced in one house that is identical or similar to a bill introduced in the other house. The use of companion bills allows bills in each body to move through the committee process at the same time.
As used in bill history, bills that have selected provisions that are similar in text.
Engrossed bill (E1, 1st Eng., E2, 2nd Eng., etc.)
The version of a measure that incorporates adopted floor amendments. The revision is done in the house of origin and engrossed under the supervision of the Secretary of the Senate or the Clerk of the House.
Enrolled bill (ER)
A Senate or House measure approved by both houses and signed by the legislative officers, which is sent to the Governor for action and transmittal to the Secretary of State or filed directly with the Secretary of State. The bill is enrolled in the house of origin under the supervision of the Secretary of the Senate or the Clerk of the House.
General bill (SB, HB)
A bill of general statewide interest or whose provisions apply to the entire state.
As used in bill history, companion bills that are identical word-for-word, not including titles. However, Resolutions and Concurrent Resolutions are considered identical if the only difference is the word “House” or “Senate.”
A bill that is contingent upon passage of another bill within the same chamber, e.g., a trust fund bill, a bill providing a public record exemption, or an implementing bill.
Local bill (or Special Act)
A bill that applies to an area or group that is less than the total area or population of the state. Its subject matter is such that those to whom it is applicable are entitled to publication or referendum as required by section 10 of Article III of the State Constitution.
Memorial (SM, HM)
A measure addressed to an executive agency or another legislative body, usually Congress, which expresses the consensus of the Florida Legislature or urges that certain action be taken on a matter within the jurisdiction of the agency or body to which it is addressed. When both houses adopt the measure, the memorial is signed by the legislative officers and transmitted to the Secretary of State for presentation to the addressee. A memorial is not subject to the approval or veto powers of the Governor, is not subject to constitutional title requirements, and does not have the effect of law.
Proposed Committee Bill (PCB)
A proposal that may represent a mandated review, repeal scheduled by law, or, with the Senate President's prior approval, additional subject of broad committee significance as determined by the committee chair. When the idea is expanded, drafted in bill form, receives a favorable vote by the committee, and filed, it becomes a bill.
Proposed Committee Substitute for a Senate Bill (PCS)
A proposal that represents the changes that a committee intends to make to a bill that is being heard by that committee. When voted favorably by the committee, it is drafted in bill form and reported out as a committee substitute.
A bill that is not subject to action by the Governor, is not subject to the constitutional one-subject limitation or to the constitutional title requirements, and, except for certain uses of joint resolutions and concurrent resolutions, does not have the effect of law. When adopted by both houses, it is signed by the legislative officers and presented to the Secretary of State. Types include:
Concurrent Resolution (SCR, HCR)
A resolution that is adopted by both houses and is limited to procedural legislative matters and ratification of federal constitutional amendments.
Senate or House Resolution (SR, HR)
A one-house document used for matters not involving the other house. It is often ceremonial or congratulatory in nature.
Joint Resolution (SJR, HJR)
A resolution that is the only authorized method by which the legislature may propose amendments to the State Constitution. If passed, the proposed amendment would appear on a statewide ballot for voter approval or rejection. It must pass each house by a three-fifths vote of the membership. A joint resolution is also used for redistricting.
A bill prepared by the Division of Law Revision and Information within the Office of Legislative Services that makes grammatical, editorial, or other technical changes in the Florida Statutes for clarity and proper interpretation. It may also remove certain obsolete, inconsistent, redundant, invalid, or superseded statutes and laws or parts thereof from the official statutes.
As used in bill history, companion bills that are substantially similar in text or have substantial portions of text that are largely the same.
Trust Fund bill
Section 19(f)(3) of Article III of the State Constitution requires the legislature to periodically review trust funds to determine whether they should be terminated, modified, made exempt from review, or re-created without modification. Creation of a trust fund requires a three-fifths vote of the membership. Section 215.3208, Florida Statutes, provides the schedule for termination and review of trust funds.
A proposal that has been drafted, at the request of a legislator or a legislative committee, by the bill drafting office of the Senate or House of Representatives.
The unit of each respective house primarily responsible for drafting bills and amendments and performing related legal research.
A chronological listing of all actions that occur on a bill from its filing to its final disposition. This information is available electronically.
The identifying number given each bill filed for introduction. Since 1990, Senate bills have received even numbers and House bills have received odd numbers. Bill numbers do not carry over from session to session or from a regular session to a special session.
One house of a bicameral legislature. The term is often used in floor debate to refer to the house where debate is occurring.
The totality of appropriations measures passed by the legislature. The detailed spending plan submitted by the Governor to the legislature which recommends monetary allocations for each of the departments of the state for the next fiscal year is also known as a “budget.” Using recommendations from the Governor and individual departments, each house prepares its own version of the budget. See Appropriations and Implementing bills.
Important tools in the legislative process which serve as official notification of bills to be considered, sessions, and committee meetings and hearings. Types and versions of calendars include:
Claim Bill Calendar
A special calendar of claim bills for chamber consideration.
A special calendar of noncontroversial bills, passage of which may expedite the work of the legislature.
A document containing the schedule of meetings and individual committee agendas, the day’s order of business, the special order and other special calendars, bills on second and third reading, and other business. The Daily Calendar is published each weekday during session.
Published periodically during the months between regular sessions, this document contains a list of agendas of committee meetings, prefiled bills and their committee references, and other significant legislative information. Printed copies are available from the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House.
Local Bill Calendar
A special calendar of local bills for chamber consideration. This listing is generally incorporated into the Daily Calendar.
Special Order Calendar
The list of bills on second reading to be taken up in session on a particular day.
Trust Fund Bill Calendar
A special calendar that deals with the legislative review of specific trust funds as required by section 19(f) of Article III of the State Constitution.
A private (although not necessarily closed) meeting of legislators. A caucus may be composed of members of a political party, members from a geographical area, or members allied for some temporary purpose. Legislative officers and leaders are designated and nominated within the political parties at caucus. A party’s position on pending legislation is often discussed at caucus.
A term used to refer to the presiding officer in a floor session or in a legislative committee meeting.
The large rooms in which the Senate and the House meet. The Senate and the House chambers are located on the fourth floor of the Capitol. See Gallery.
The identifying number assigned by the Secretary of State to a bill that has been enacted into law. The number indicates the year passed and the printing number. For example, chapter 2000-541 represents the 541st law printed in the year 2000. Chapter laws are compiled and published annually in the Laws of Florida.
An electronic publication provided by the Division of Law Revision and Information within the Office of Legislative Services that shows the status of and a chronological listing of all actions concerning all legislation filed during a session. The Citator also provides statistics, descriptions by bill number, sponsor reports by member and committee, and indices by statute number affected and by subject.
Clerk of the House of Representatives
The constitutional officer that performs ministerial duties as directed by the Speaker which include keeping and publishing a correct Journal of House proceedings; superintending the engrossing and transmitting of legislation; attesting to all writs issued by order of the House and the passage of all legislative measures; the publishing of other House documents; and, supervising the custody of legislation, official records, and documents of the House. Additionally, upon request, this position provides parliamentary guidance. The Office of the Clerk is a non-partisan, non-political office.
Clerk's Manual, The
Published biennially by the Clerk of the House of Representatives, this book contains biographical information on members of the legislature and other information.
The underlining of new language and overstriking of deleted existing language in a bill, required by the rules of both houses of the legislature, which indicates changes being made to the text of existing law or an existing constitutional provision.
To refer a bill to a committee.
A panel of legislators chosen by the respective presiding officers to perform specific functions. Types of committees include:
A committee composed of members of the Senate (appointed by the President) and members of the House of Representatives (appointed by the Speaker) whose sole purpose is to reach a final agreement on a bill.
A committee composed of Senate and House members appointed by their respective presiding officers to oversee a specified legislative function.
A committee created for the purpose of studying or investigating a specific matter within a specified time period.
A committee appointed by the respective presiding officer and given a continuing responsibility over legislation covering specific subject matters.
As used in the Senate, a committee within a full committee, which makes recommendations to the full committee.
The findings or recommendations of a committee on a measure or matter referred to it or on a subject it has been asked to study.
Members of a conference committee appointed by the Senate President and House Speaker.
Conference Committee Report
The report of a conference committee on the bill or bills for which the committee was formed. The conference committee report usually includes amendments proposed by the conference committee. The report of the conference committee must be either adopted or rejected as a whole by each house.
Consensus Estimating Conferences
An umbrella term designating a group of conference bodies, consisting of members of the legislature, representatives from the Governor’s Office, and designees from various state agencies, which meet to develop caseload or workload data and revenue projections to assist in the budgeting and appropriations process.
A resident in an elected official's district.
The written instrument embodying the fundamental principles of the state which establishes power and duties of the government and guarantees certain rights to the people.
A joint resolution that proposes an amendment to, or revision of, the State Constitution. After final passage and filing with the Secretary of State, a proposed constitutional amendment is presented to the voters at the next regular general election pursuant to section 5 of Article XI of the State Constitution.
To assemble the legislature or either house thereof. The annual session of the Florida Legislature begins, for a period not to exceed 60 days, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March of each odd-numbered year and on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March, or such other date as may be fixed by law, of each even-numbered year.
Daily Order of Business
The items of business and the order in which they are to be considered each day as set out in the rules of each house.
Discussion by legislators during a committee meeting or while a house is meeting supporting or opposing an issue.
Appropriateness of behavior or conduct.
A group of legislators who represent parts of the same county or geographical area.
The area from which a state senator, representative, or congressman is elected. The boundaries of state legislative and congressional districts are drawn in the decennial process known as apportionment and redistricting.
Personnel employed by a legislator to work in the legislator’s district office.
The date upon which an act becomes effective. If a date is not specified in the bill, an act takes effect 60 days after the final adjournment of the legislative session in which it was enacted.
A bill designed specifically to carry out an adopted constitutional amendment.
The State Constitution requires that each bill be prefaced by the phrase: “Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida.”
The period used for budgeting and accounting. In Florida state government, this is the period from July 1 of one calendar year to June 30 of the next calendar year.
Synonymous with Chamber or “in session.” Floor action suggests consideration by the entire Senate or House rather than committee action.
The document that outlines the basic framework of Florida’s system of government which was revised in 1968 and subsequently amended.
Florida Senate Handbook for Kids, The
A student guide to the Florida Legislature, which contains facts about the legislature and games and puzzles designed to help students learn. The office of the Secretary of the Senate publishes it electronically.
An edited compilation of general laws of the state.
The seating area on the floor above the Senate or House chamber where the public may observe a house in session.
Guide to Florida Government
Compiled by the Clerk of the House, a list of agency, executive, legislative, judicial, and congressional offices and the reporters of the Capitol Press Corps.
A note following each section of the Florida Statutes which contains citations to the section and chapter number of the creating act and each subsequent amendatory act as located in the Laws of Florida. Consult the Laws of Florida to determine the effective date of a creating act or a particular amendment.
Generally, either body or chamber of the legislature. When capitalized, the term refers to the House of Representatives.
The process of considering removal of an officeholder for charges brought against the officeholder. The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, members of the Cabinet, justices of the Supreme Court, and judges may be removed from office by impeachment. The House of Representatives has the sole power to impeach. It may do so by a two-thirds vote of the members voting. The Senate tries all impeachments with the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court presiding. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required to convict. If convicted, the officer is removed from office.
An amendment to the State Constitution proposed by a number of electors. An initiative is accomplished by filing with the Secretary of State a petition containing a copy of the amendment proposed that has been signed by a specified number of electors.
Latin for immediately. A motion to take up an issue immediately.
The period between the adjournment of a regular session sine die and the convening of the next regular session.
The legislator who files a bill for introduction or the committee that votes to file the bill for introduction. The introducer’s name appears first on the bill, in the journal, and in any material dealing with the bill. This term is often used interchangeably with sponsor. A co-introducer or co-sponsor is a legislator who signs a bill in addition to the introducer. If a bill becomes a committee substitute, the first-named introducers and all others then become co-introducers or co-sponsors.
The reading of a bill (including a committee substitute) the first time in a house of the legislature. Publication of the title of the bill in the journal of a house constitutes its first reading in that house.
A requirement of section 4(c) of Article III of the State Constitution, the Journal is the official legal record of the proceedings of the Senate or the House of Representatives. Each legislative house publishes a journal for each day of session. The Journal records only the formal action in the legislature and committees. Its contents include titles of bills introduced and considered, a record of members’ votes on issues, as well as motions and other business before the legislature.
An act becomes a law when the Governor either approves it or fails to sign or veto it within the period specified in the State Constitution. An act can also become a law when a subsequent legislature overrides a veto by the Governor. While the legislature is in session, the constitution allows a 7-day period following presentation of a bill to the Governor within which to sign or veto the bill. If the legislature adjourns sine die before an act is presented to the Governor or while an act is in the Governor’s possession, the Governor has 15 days following the date of presentation in which to take action.
Law Revision and Information, Division of
The unit of the Office of Legislative Services responsible for the continuous revision of the Florida Statutes, including editing, compiling, indexing, publishing, and compiling the history of legislative actions and statistical information on filed bills.
Laws of Florida
A verbatim publication of the general and special laws enacted by the Florida Legislature in a given year and published each year following the regular session of the legislature. It presents the laws in the order in which they are numbered by the Secretary of State, as well as resolutions and memorials passed by the legislature.
Legislature, The Florida
Florida’s bicameral legislature, composed of the 40-member Senate and the 120-member House of Representatives. Each house is the sole judge of the qualifications and elections of its members and has the power to choose its own officers and establish its own rules of procedure. Either house may initiate legislation on any subject. Senators serve 4-year, staggered terms and representatives serve 2-year terms. No legislator may seek reelection "if, by the end of the current term of office, the person will have served . . . in that office for eight consecutive years." See section 4 of Article VI of the State Constitution.
One who encourages, directly or indirectly, the passage, defeat, or modification of any legislation.
A legislator from the majority party designated by the presiding officer of each house to be the leader of the majority party members in that house.
The political party having the most members in a house.
Communication by one house to the other house concerning action taken on a bill. Each bill, and any amendments to it, is transmitted from one house to the other accompanied by a document (message) that states the action taken on the bill. The term "messages" is also used to describe the unit of the office of the Secretary of the Senate or the Clerk of the House responsible for transmitting bills to the other house.
The legislator elected by the minority party caucus in each house to be the leader of the minority party members in that house.
The political party that has fewer than a majority of members in a house.
A formal request made by a legislator on the floor or in a committee meeting to take some procedural action. The rules of each house determine the importance of a motion, whether it may be debated, and the vote required for adoption of the motion.
OLS (Office of Legislative Services)
Joint Rules of the Florida Legislature provide for an Office of Legislative Services to provide legislative support services that are determined by the President and the Speaker to be necessary and that can be effectively provided jointly to both houses and other units of the legislature.
The constitutional requirement, imposed by section 6 of Article III of the State Constitution, that every law shall embrace but one subject and matter properly connected therewith.
Section 4(e) of Article III of the State Constitution provides that specified legislative meetings shall be open and noticed to the public. All legislative sessions are open to the public except executive sessions of the Senate.
Analysis of how the agencies of the executive branch go about the performance of their duties is an important responsibility of committees.
Prior to the compilation of the volume of newly enacted laws, the printed copies of the individual laws are available in Adobe Acrobat PDF format for viewing or printing from the Department of State's website in pamphlet or "slip" form. This term is used interchangeably with "session law" or "chapter law."
Favorable floor action on a bill.
Name by which some legislative acts come to be known. It may include the name of a person (Mrs. Doubtfire bill), an action (10-20-Life bill), or an acronym (WAGES bill).
President of the Senate
The presiding officer of the Senate, having been designated by the majority party in caucus and then elected by the full membership of the Senate for a term of two years at the organization session.
President Pro Tempore of the Senate
A senator who is chosen by the President and elected by the full membership of the Senate for a term of two years at the organization session.
The formal, written announcement issued by the Governor, or the Senate President and House Speaker jointly, to call the Florida Legislature into a special session. It states the reason for the session, the issues to be addressed during the session, and the length of the session. Also referred to as "the Call."
Proof of Publication
Verified newspaper notice of intent to seek enactment of specific legislation. This notice is attached to the filed claim or local bill and remains a part of the permanent file.
In a general appropriations bill, language used to qualify or restrict a specific appropriation.
Public records law
A law providing that public records that are not exempt from public disclosure may be inspected at reasonable times, under reasonable conditions, and under the supervision of the person who has custody of the records.
Public Review Period, Constitutional (72-hour rule)
A 72-hour public-review period required by section 19(d) of Article III of the State Constitution before final passage of general appropriations bills. Section 1(e) of Article VII requires a 72-hour period after third reading before the final passage of a bill increasing state revenues.
A majority. The State Constitution requires a majority of the members elected to a house to be present for the transacting of legislative business.
A call made by the presiding officer to establish the presence of a majority for the lawful transacting of business.
The act approving an amendment to the United States Constitution.
Each bill or proposed constitutional amendment must receive three readings on three separate days in each legislative house before it can be passed (unless waived by a two-thirds vote of the members for readings on the same day). These readings are:
The bill is introduced and its title is published in the journal; sometimes first reading takes place during a chamber session.
After favorable reports by all committees of reference, the bill is available for placement on the calendar. When it is considered on the floor, it is read a second time by title. Amendments may be considered. If amendments are adopted, the bill is engrossed.
The bill is read by title a third time. Debate on final passage occurs and a vote is taken; a two-thirds vote is required to amend at this stage.
Recall a bill
A request by either house for return of a bill from the other house or from the Governor’s Office. When the request is from one house to the other, a written message is sent to the other house. The adoption of a concurrent resolution is required to recall a bill from the Governor’s Office.
A break within a sitting during which a legislative body is not conducting business. After a recess, a legislative body resumes business at the point where business halted when the recess was taken.
A vote of the electors on a specific measure presented for approval or rejection on a ballot. A referendum is required as a condition for the effectiveness of a local bill if proof of publication has not been provided.
The removal of an entire section, subsection, or paragraph of law from the Florida Statutes by the legislature. The repeal of a statute or statutes is accomplished by the insertion of a repealer clause in a bill that becomes a law.
The calling of names of members of the Senate or the House, either to determine the presence of a quorum or to act upon a matter before that house. In the chamber, the roll is recorded by an electronic voting machine.
Each house determines it own process for conducting its business and adopts rules at the beginning of each legislative term.
Ruling by the chair
A decision by the committee chair or the presiding officer concerning a question of order or procedure.
Secretary of the Senate
The officer specified in section 2 of Article III of the State Constitution and designated by the Senate to serve at its pleasure who is responsible for assisting the officers, members, and staff of the Senate in the detailed processes by which laws are enacted.
Senate Handbook, The Florida
Published by the office of the Secretary of the Senate biennially, this book provides information on senators and officers and outlines and describes the Senate, its operations, and its relationship with the House and the other branches of government. It is distributed free of charge to Capitol visitors and other interested Floridians to enhance their knowledge and understanding of Florida’s government and, particularly, the Florida Senate.
Sergeant at Arms
The person charged with enforcing the directions of the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The Sergeant’s office is responsible for the security of the respective legislative body and maintenance of property of that house.
The term is used to refer to the entire period for which the legislature has been convened. Types of sessions include:
Section 4(b) of Article III of the State Constitution provides that the Senate may resolve itself into executive (closed) session for the sole purpose of considering a person’s appointment to office or removal or suspension from office.
A regular or special session that has been prolonged beyond its allocated time in order to complete action on introduced legislation. Extension requires a three-fifths vote by members of each house. Additional business may be considered only by a two-thirds vote of the membership of each house.
The annual session held the first day of the regular session in the House chamber and attended by members of both houses, the Governor, the Cabinet, members of the Supreme Court, and invited guests. The purpose of this session is for the Governor to inform the legislature concerning the condition of the state, propose such reorganization of the executive department as will promote efficiency and economy, and recommend measures in the public interest. Joint sessions are also held on other occasions.
Section 3(a) of Article III of the State Constitution directs the legislature to convene on the 14th day after the general election, solely for the purpose of organizing. Organizing includes the taking of the oath by members, the selection of officers, the appointment of committees, and the adoption of the rules.
This is the name given to the annual session that begins on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March of each odd-numbered year, and on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March, or such other date as may be fixed by law, of each even-numbered year, for a period not to exceed 60 consecutive days.
Special sessions may be called by Proclamation of the Governor, by Joint Proclamation of the Senate President and the House Speaker, or by members of the Legislature for the purpose of considering specific legislation and shall not exceed 20 consecutive days unless extended by a three-fifths vote of each house.
Latin for without day. The motion to "adjourn sine die" is the last action of a session of the legislature. Each house may adjourn on its own motion.
See Pamphlet law.
Speaker of the House of Representatives
The presiding officer of the House of Representatives, having been designated by the majority party in caucus and then elected by the body for a term of two years at the organization session.
Speaker Pro Tempore of the House of Representatives
A member of the House of Representatives who is designated by the majority party in caucus and then elected by the body. The Speaker pro tempore presides over the House of Representatives at the request of the Speaker or in the absence of the Speaker.
A term used interchangeably with introducer.
Bill Summaries are created by committee staff and give brief explanations of legislation that passed in both the House and Senate during a particular session.
"Temporarily postponed," "temporarily passed," "temporarily deferred," or "TP'd" refer to the postponing of consideration of a bill or other legislative matter appearing on an agenda or calendar.
Section 4 of Article VI of the State Constitution provides that specified elected officials may not seek reelection "if, by the end of the current term of office, the person will have served . . . in that office for eight consecutive years.”
A legislature that has only one house. Nebraska is the only state having a unicameral legislature.
Objection by the Governor to an act passed by the legislature, which kills the act unless it is reenacted later by a two-thirds vote of both houses.
Veto, Line item
Power of the Governor to selectively veto items in a general appropriations act or any specific appropriation in a substantive act containing an appropriation. See section 8(b) of Article III of the State Constitution for restrictions on the Governor’s use of this power.
Action by the legislature to set aside the Governor’s objections to an act. It takes two-thirds of the members voting in each house to override a veto.
The Constitution requires the recorded yeas and nays on final passage of legislation. Types of votes include:
Certain measures require more than a simple majority vote for passage; thus such measures are said to require an “extraordinary vote.” For example, it takes two-thirds of the members voting to override the Governor’s veto or to move to waive the requirement for the readings of a bill on separate days.
The necessary votes obtained in either house for a legislative matter to pass in that house.
An equal number of legislators in either house vote for and against a bill, amendment, or motion, thereby killing the measure.
The term used when an issue fails to receive the necessary number of favorable votes.
An oral vote is allowed on some legislative issues such as motions, amendments, and resolutions. A voice vote cannot be used for passage of bills or joint resolutions.
The electronic voting display located in each chamber which shows how legislators are voting on a measure before the body.
Waive the rules
The process, requiring a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting, of setting aside certain rules in order to take certain action.
To remove a bill, amendment, or other legislative matter from a committee or from further consideration by the body.
A phrase used by the presiding officer to indicate that he or she is disposing of a matter without taking a roll call vote of the members, assuming that the action taken is approved unanimously.
A legislator may release part of the allotted time for which he or she has the floor to another member of his or her chamber, usually for questions or clarification of the yielding legislator’s discussion.
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