The Florida Legislature meets in session every year for sixty consecutive days. A regular session of the legislature shall convene on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March of each odd-numbered year, and on the second Tuesday after the first Monday in January of each even-numbered year. There are other ways in which the Legislature may be convened as outlined in Article III, Section 2, of the Florida Constitution, including special sessions, which may be called either by the Governor; or by a joint proclamation issued by the Senate President and House Speaker. An extension of regular session or special session requires a three-fifths vote of each house.
In this Section
Legislative proposals may be in the form of bills, resolutions, concurrent resolutions, joint resolutions, or memorials. A bill is a proposed law, and it may be either a general bill or a local bill. A general bill would have a general impact within the state; a local bill would affect only a particular county, city, or town named in the bill. A majority vote is required to pass a bill, unless otherwise provided in the Constitution.
Calendars serve as official notification of legislative activities, such as sessions, committee meetings, bills to be considered, schedules, deadlines, and other significant information. The Secretary of the Senate is responsible for posting the calendar.
Each journal details the proceedings on the floor, committee reports, and related actions of the previous day. The Journal is only published when the Legislature is in Session.
The appropriations bill is one of the most important bills considered by the Legislature. This bill is the state’s budget and it specifies the amount of money available to various state agencies during the next year. The appropriations bill follows the same course as other general bills, but because it is difficult to get both houses to agree on all items in the bill, a conference committee is usually appointed to resolve the differences.
A conference committee is created for the purpose of resolving the differences between the Chambers on a piece of legislation. This usually entails a joint meeting of two committees.
During session, several reports are provided which can be generated based on purpose. Reports include information about introducers/sponsors, governor’s actions, bills with companions, passed bills, chapter number/effective dates, and committee progress, which are updated several times each day. When the Legislature is not in session, reports are available for sessions back to 2010.
Appointments to certain boards and offices that require Senate confirmation are tracked and maintained. Information is provided on what committees heard the appointment, how the Senate voted on the appointment and what other appointments an appointee may currently or historically have. In addition, appointments can be sorted by district for the current session year only.
The Senate determines whether to remove or reinstate certain officers who have been suspended by Executive Order of the Governor.
Redistricting is the process of redrawing the boundaries of congressional and state legislative electoral districts to reflect population changes that result from the decennial census. Learn about the milestones, public hearings and the submitted plans for both the Senate and House.