Secretary of the Senate
Suite 405, The Capitol
Office Mailing Address:
404 S. Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
Phone: (850) 487-5270
Staff Director, Bill Drafting
Journal, Publishing, and Research
Document Center and Amendment Filing
Office of Senate Secretary
The Senate elects a Secretary of the Senate. This non-member constitutional officer has various responsibilities, including:
- Parliamentarian of the Senate.
- Keeping all Senate records.
- Authenticating each act and resolution passed by the Senate.
- Publishing the journal and calendar.
- Distributing public documents.
- Providing bill drafting services.
In addition, the Secretary's Office speaks to visiting civic and student groups and hosts numerous mock sessions throughout each year.
- The 2013 Regular Session is the 115th Regular Session since Statehood in 1845.
For the 2012-2014 Term:
- 26 Republicans, 14 Democrats
- 12 Women, 28 Men
- Legislative Leadership (PDF)
Secretary of the Senate
- Average Age of Senators (PDF)
- Current African-American, Hispanic and Jewish Senators (PDF)
- Demographic Changes Between Previous and Current Term (PDF)
- History of African-American Senators (PDF)
- History of African-American Senators During Reconstruction (PDF)
- History of Hispanic-American Senators (PDF)
- History of Women Senators (PDF)
- Senators with Military Service (PDF)
- Senators who Served as House Speaker (PDF)
Documents & Publications
Documents & Publications
Various documents and publications are prepared by the Secretary of the Senate (Secretary) or are received and distributed by the Secretary. These documents are available electronically or in hard copy through the Document Center, 304 Capitol, (850) 487-5915.
FilingOnly Senators and permanent Senate professional staff may file amendments.
Floor amendments—Amendments that are to be considered in the chamber are filed in the Senate Document Center by the established deadline. Amendments are "late filed" if filed after the deadline or filed during session at the Amendment Desk in the chamber.
Amendments proposed for consideration at a committee meeting are assembled into a meeting packet; amendments filed for floor consideration are compiled into an amendment packet. Individual amendment copies or full amendment packets are available in the Senate Document Center.
All amendments filed for floor consideration (adopted committee amendments, Senate amendments to Senate and House bills, engrossed amendments, engrossed Senate amendments to House bills, House amendments to Senate bills) and Senate floor action on such amendments are posted and can be viewed in the Session section.
When a bill is submitted for filing, it is numbered, and made available electronically. With certain exceptions, such bills must be filed by noon of the first day of the regular session.
Current year bills can be printed from the Session section or a copy of a bill may be picked up from the Senate Document Center. Copies of bills from the past 10 years are available on the archive site.
Senate adoption of an amendment to a Senate bill triggers the engrossing stage in a bill's history. Proper placement of the amendment within the bill and text accuracy of each amendment are verified. If passed by the Senate, the engrossed Senate bill is sent to Messages for transmittal to the House. Copies can be printed from the Session section or may be picked up from the Senate Document Center.
Each Senate amendment to a House bill that has been adopted is checked for proper placement of text. An adopted Senate amendment to a Senate amendment is engrossed to make one amendment to the House bill. The House bill and its amendments are sent to Messages for transmittal to the House. Copies of Senate amendments to House bills can be printed from the Session section or may be picked up from the Senate Document Center.
Messages to the House
A bill that has been acted upon by the Senate is transmitted to the House, along with a message detailing the action taken and requesting concurrence. Likewise, bills and messages are received from the House. Message summaries for bills to be considered on the Senate floor are available online. A bill may be transmitted several times between the houses.
Enrolling involves the preparation of a Senate bill for action by the Governor or transmittal to the Secretary of State. The enrolled Senate bill is signed by the President and Secretary of the Senate and the Speaker and Clerk of the House. Current year bills can be printed from the Session section.
The Senate Enrolling Clerk receives enrolled House bills for signature by Senate officers and returns these bills to the House Enrolling Clerk.
Committees provide the Secretary's Office with written notification of meetings that includes the date, time, and place of the meeting along with a list of bills (including the bill number, introducer, and a brief title) and other agenda items to be considered. Notices of all Senate and Joint committee meetings, and other meetings specified by Senate Rule, are published in the calendar.
During session, a Daily Calendar is published. It includes the Daily Order of Business; Bills on Special Order; Local, Consent, or Claim Bill Calendars; Bills on Second and Third Reading; Bills on Reconsideration; and notices of meetings scheduled for that day and the next two days. Also included is a tentative committee meeting and session schedule for the current week and subsequent week.
Between regular sessions, an Interim Calendar is prepared for each week of scheduled committee meetings. It includes notices of committee meetings, brief titles of all filed bills and references, and other important legislative information.
Documents generated or considered while the Senate is in session are available in the Senate Document Center and on the Internet. Amendments and votes are kept until publication of the daily Journal. A limited number of appropriation bills and related conference committee reports are available while supply lasts. Audio recordings and votes are retained permanently.
At the direction of each committee during session, preliminary committee meeting documents (agendas, proposed legislation, amendments, and professional bill analyses) are circulated to committee members and bill sponsors by the Senate Document Center. Upon distribution, copies are available to the public on each Committee page and from the Senate Document Center. Following the committee meeting, these preliminary documents are discarded and the official report is available.
Published by the Secretary, the Directory of the Florida Senate provides specified information about each Senator (name, district, and party affiliation; addresses and telephone numbers of district and Tallahassee offices; and the names and titles of professional staff). The directory also provides information concerning Senate committees and other legislative offices: directors, addresses, and telephone numbers. This document is updated as needed.
Handbooks, Manuals, & Reports
The Florida Senate Glossary
The Florida Senate Glossary is a selection of terms commonly used in the Florida Legislature, including words and phrases that have a usage unique to the Florida Senate.
The Florida Senate Handbook
Published by the Office of the Secretary biennially, the Florida Senate Handbook (PDF) provides information on Senators and officers. It 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. Archives of previous handbooks are available at archive.flsenate.gov.
The Florida Senate Rules and Manual
The Florida Senate Rules and Manual contains the Senate Rules, a list of Senate officers and members, germanity standards, forms of common motions, and the State Constitution. Copies of this manual are available in the Senate Document Center. Archives of previous Senate Rules are available at archive.flsenate.gov.
Senate Kids – A Student Guide to the Florida Legislature
The website is totally devoted to younger Floridians and designed to help them learn more about the Florida Legislature. Games and puzzles, coloring books, and fun and interesting Florida facts help kids learn about state government from the convenience of the Internet. This website provides children with information on Senate and House leaders, takes them on a photographic tour of the Capitol, and more.
The Senate Journal is the official record of proceedings in the Florida Senate. Based upon the daily order of business set by Senate rule, the content of the journal is also governed by constitutional and statutory requirements. First reading of bills by publication of title, amendments to bills, reports of committees, executive appointments and suspensions, communications from the Governor, messages from the House of Representatives, and votes taken are a few of the elements that must be included in the journal.
Journals are prepared and published daily when the Legislature is in session. A copy of a daily journal is available for pickup in the Senate Document Center. When the session ends, the daily journals are electronically compiled and published in a bound volume. Copies of the bound journals are distributed to all members of the Senate, the Attorney General, the Supreme Court, certain legislative offices, and the State Library. Distribution is made to various library depositories around the state and to the Library of Congress, and may also be purchased by private individuals at cost. Editions of bound journals are available from the 1998 session forward on the Internet. Archives of previous journals are available at archive .flsenate.gov.
Copies of roll call votes, taken electronically, on questions considered on the chamber floor, are available to the public, either on the Internet or from the Senate Document Center.
At its organization session every two years, the Senate elects a Secretary of the Senate (Secretary) pursuant to the Constitution of the State of Florida. This non-member constitutional officer serves as the Parliamentarian of the Senate, keeps all Senate records, and authenticates each act and resolution passed by the Senate. The Secretary also publishes the journal and the calendar.
Other operations within the Secretary's Office include: bill drafting, bill and amendment filing, duplication and public distribution of documents, and the operation of specialized chamber computer systems, such as the Senate's electronic voting system and Session Organizer.
The Secretary's Office maintains Senate information included on the Florida Senate's official website and on the Legislature's Online Sunshine home page.
The Secretary's Office speaks to various visiting civic and student groups and hosts numerous mock sessions throughout each year such as YMCA Youth Legislature, Boys State, and Girls State.
The Secretary's Office is a central information source for the legislative process.
As custodian for legislative documents that are retained permanently (filed amendments, filed bills, committee meeting notices, committee reports, and audio recordings), documents may be examined and copied until such time as they are forwarded to the Division of Archives and Records Management of the Department of State for archiving.
Elected by the Senate to serve at its pleasure, the Secretary of the Senate is a constitutional officer who serves as the parliamentarian and procedural resource for the President, members, and professional staff of the Senate in the detailed processes by which laws are enacted.
At the request of a Senator, a specific date and time may be reserved for the Secretary to work through some legislative actions, including mock sessions, debate, and voting, for groups (such as YMCA Youth Legislature, Boys State, Girls State, and other school or special interest groups) who are visiting in the Senate Chamber.
Two-thirds (2/3) Vote of Senators Present and Voting:
- To amend a bill on third (3rd) reading (except title or technical amendment) [Rule 7.2]
- To approve or amend a report of the Committee on Rules relating to action on the Rules and Order of Business in the Senate [Rule 11.3]
- To consider a bill upon which an unfavorable committee report has been filed [Rule 4.7]
- To consider a late-filed amendment, if any Senator requests that such vote be taken [Rule 7.1]
- To consider or to favorably report a bill in a Committee of the Whole upon which standing committee action has been taken, or upon which an unfavorable committee report has been filed [Rule 4.4]
- To establish, strike a bill from, or add a bill to the Special Order Calendar [Rule 4.17]
- To immediately certify any bill to the House [Rule 6.8]
- To introduce a claim bill after the deadline for filing claim bills or to consider a House claim bill without a Senate companion [Rule 4.81]
- To limit debate [Rule 8.6]
- To recommit a bill that has been reported by a committee [Rule 2.15]
- To refer a bill to a different committee or remove from a committee [Rules 3.8 and 4.10]
- To refer, commit, or amend a bill on third (3rd) reading (except corrective or title amendment) [Rule 4.15]
- To substitute a House companion measure not on same reading [Rule 3.11]
- To waive or suspend Senate Rules [Rule 11.2]
- To waive readings of a bill or a joint resolution on three (3) separate days [Rule 4.12]
- To waive readings of certain concurrent resolutions or memorials on two (2) separate days [Rule 4.13]
- To consider a late-filed amendment, if any member requests that such a vote be taken [Rule 2.39]
- To limit debate [Rule 2.50]
- To remove a bill from the table that was reported unfavorably by a subcommittee [Rule 2.16]
- To reconsider instanter [Rule 2.35]
Two-thirds (2/3) Vote of the Membership of 40:
- To censure, reprimand, or expel a Senator determined to have violated the requirements of the Rule regulating ethics and conduct [Rule 1.43]
Unanimous Consent of Senators Present:
- To adopt a motion to waive a Rule requiring unanimous consent [Rule 11.2]
- To change a vote after the results have been announced [Rule 5.2]
- To consider a bill which has not been reported favorably by at least one Senate committee [Rule 4.3]
- To consider a bill out of order on a Senate calendar [Rule 4.16]
- To reconsider a bill after the Senate has refused to reconsider or confirmed its first action [Rule 6.4]
- To vote or change a vote after the results have been announced [Rule 2.28]
- To consider a bill out of order on committee agenda [Rule 2.12]
- To reconsider a bill after the committee has refused to reconsider or confirmed its first action [Rule 2.35]
- To withdraw a motion to reconsider [Rule 2.32]
Show of Hands:
- Five (5) Senators may immediately question a vote declared by the President, requiring an electronic roll call [Rule 5.1; Art. III, s. 4(c)]
- Two (2) committee members may request a roll call vote on any matter or motion properly before the committee [Rule 2.15; Art. III, s. 4(c)]
- Two (2) committee members may question a vote declared by the chair, requiring a roll call vote [Rule 2.28; Art. III, s. 4(c)]
Constitution of the State of Florida
Two-thirds (2/3) Vote of Senators Present:
- To convict impeached officer [Art. III, s. 17(c)]
- To override veto [Art. III, s. 8(c)]
- To provide an exemption from public records or public meetings requirements [Art. I, s. 24]
- To waive readings of a bill on three (3) separate days [Art. III, s. 7]
Two-thirds (2/3) Vote of the Membership of 40:
- To enact a bill increasing state revenues [Art. VII, s. 1(e)]
- To enact a general bill reducing authority of counties or municipalities to raise aggregate revenues above 2-1-1989 level (exceptions apply) [Art. VII, s. 18(b)]
- To enact a general bill reducing the percentage of a state tax shared with counties or municipalities below 2-1-1989 level (exceptions apply) [Art. VII, s. 18(c)]
- To enact a general bill requiring counties or municipalities to spend money or to take action requiring expenditure of money (exceptions apply) [Art. VII, s. 18(a)]
- To expel a member [Art. III, s. 4(d)]
- To increase or decrease number of judgeships recommended by Supreme Court [Art. V, s. 9]
- To introduce, during special session, business not within purview of proclamation [Art. III, s. 3(c)(1)]
- To repeal the rules of court by general law [Art. V, s. 2(a)]
- To take up new business during extended session [Art. III, s. 3(d)]
Three-fourths (3/4) Vote of the Membership of 40:
- To enact bill for special election on constitutional amendment [Art. XI, s. 5(a)]
Three-fifths (3/5) Vote of Senators Present:
- To extend session beyond the 60-day regular or 20-day special session limit [Art. III, s. 3(d)]
Three-fifths (3/5) Vote of the Membership of 40:
- To convey certain private property taken by eminent domain on or after 1-2-2007, to a natural person or private entity [Art. X, s. 6(c)]
- To create or re-create a trust fund [Art. III, s. 19(f)(1)]
- To exceed limit on corporate income tax [Art. VII, s. 5(b)]
- To exceed limitation on appropriations made for recurring purposes from nonrecurring general revenue funds [Art. III, s. 19(a)(2)]
- To prohibit a special law pertaining to specified subject [Art. III, s. 11(a)(21)]
- To propose constitutional amendment (Joint Resolution) [Art. XI, s. 1]
Notice and Review Requirements
A notice must be filed with the Secretary at least one (1) hour prior to the meeting. The notice must state the date, time, and place of the meeting along with the name of the conferees and scheduled participants [Rule 2.19(1)]
Implementing or Conforming Bills
Twenty-four (24) hour public review period required before final passage if report submitted after furnishing of the general appropriations bill [Joint Rule 2.1(8)]
Twelve (12) hour review period for membership prior to the time the bill is scheduled to be taken up on the Senate floor [Rule 4.5]
Constitution of the State of Florida
Financial Impact Statement Required:
A statement regarding the probable financial impact of any amendment proposed by initiative must be given to the public prior to the holding of an election [Art. XI, s. 5(c)]
Public Review Period:
Bills Increasing State Revenues
Seventy-two (72) hour period required after third (3rd) reading before final passage [Art. VII, s. 1(e)]
General Appropriations Bills
Seventy-two (72) hour public review period required before final passage [Art. III, s. 19(d)]