Florida Senate

Last updated

Florida Senate
2018–2020 Florida Legislature
Florida Senate seal color.png
Type
Type
Term limits
2 terms (8 years)
History
FoundedMay 26, 1845
Preceded by Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida
Leadership
Wilton Simpson (R)
since Nov. 17, 2020 [1]
President pro tempore
Aaron Bean (R)
since Nov. 17, 2020 [2]
Debbie Mayfield (R)
since Nov. 17, 2020 [3]
Minority Leader
Gary Farmer (D)
since Nov. 16, 2020 [4]
Structure
Seats40
Florida Senate Diagram.svg
Political groups
Majority
  •   Republican (24)

Minority

Length of term
4 years
AuthorityArticle III, Constitution of Florida
Salary$29,697.00/year + per diem (Subsistence & Travel) [5]
Elections
Last election
November 6, 2018
(22 seats)
Next election
November 3, 2020
(21 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative control
Motto
In God We Trust
Meeting place
Florida Senate Chamber.jpg
Senate Chamber
Florida Capitol
Tallahassee, Florida
Website
Official website
Seal of Florida.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Florida

The Florida Senate is the upper house of the Florida Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Florida, the Florida House of Representatives being the lower house. Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution of Florida, adopted in 1968, defines the role of the Legislature and how it is to be constituted. [6] The Senate is composed of 40 members, each elected from a single-member district with a population of approximately 470,000 residents. Legislative districts are drawn on the basis of population figures, provided by the federal decennial census. Senators' terms begin immediately, upon their election. The Senate Chamber is located in the State Capitol building.

Contents

As of 2020, Republicans hold the majority in the chamber with 24 seats; Democrats are in the minority with 16 seats. [7]

Titles

Members of the Senate are referred to as Senators. Because this shadows the terminology used to describe member of U.S. Senate, constituents and the news media, using The Associated Press Stylebook, often refer to them as State Senators to avoid confusion with their Federal counterparts.

Terms

Article III, of the Florida Constitution, defines the terms for State Legislators.

The Constitution requires State Senators from odd-numbered districts to be elected in the years that end in numbers of which are multiples of four. Senators from even-numbered districts are required to be elected in even-numbered years the numbers of which are not multiples of four.

To reflect the results of the U.S. Census and the redrawing of district boundaries, all seats are up for election in redistricting years, with some terms truncated as a result. Thus, senators in even-numbered districts were elected to two-year terms in 2012 (following the 2010 Census), and senators in odd-numbered districts will be elected to two-year terms in 2022 (following the 2020 Census).

All terms were truncated again in 2016, with all 40 Senate seats up for election, due to court-ordered redistricting. [8]

Legislators take office immediately, upon election.

Term limits

On November 3, 1992, almost 77% of Florida voters backed Amendment 9, the Florida Term Limits Amendment, which amended the Florida State Constitution, to enact eight-year term limits on federal and state officials. Under the Amendment, former members could be elected again after a two-year break. [9] In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not enact congressional term limits, but ruled that the state-level term limits could remain. [10]

Qualifications

Florida legislators must be at least twenty-one years old, an elector and resident of their district, and must have resided in Florida for at least two years prior to election. [11]

Legislative session

Each year during which the Legislature meets constitutes a new Legislative Session.

Committee weeks

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. [12]

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. [13]

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. [14]

Organizational session

On the fourteenth day following each general election, the Legislature meets for an Organizational Session to organize and select officers.

Special session

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. [15]

Powers and process

The Florida Senate 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. [16]

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". [17] The Florida Statutes are the codified statutory laws of the state. [17]

In 2009, legislators filed 2,138 bills for consideration. On average, the Legislature has passed about 300 bills into law annually. [18]

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. [19] In 2017, 1,885 lobbyists registered to represent 3,724 entities. [19]

The Senate also has the power to propose Amendments to the Florida Constitution. Additionally, the Senate has the exclusive power to try officials impeached by the House, and to confirm some executive appointments.

Leadership

The Senate is headed by the Senate President. The Senate President controls the assignment of committees and leadership positions, along with control of the agenda in their chamber. The Senate President, along with the Speaker of the House and Governor, control most of the agenda of state business in Florida.

Composition

AffiliationParty
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total
Republican Democratic Vacant
End of 2016–18 legislature2216382
Start of previous (2018–20) legislature2317400
End of previous legislature
Start of current (2020–22) legislature2416400
Latest voting share

Members, 2020–2022

DistrictNamePartyResidenceCounties representedFirst elected [20] Term up
1 Doug Broxson Rep Midway Escambia, Santa Rosa, part of Okaloosa 20162022
2 George Gainer Rep Panama City Bay, Holmes, Jackson, Walton Washington, part of Okaloosa 20162022
3 Loranne Ausley Dem Tallahassee Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla 20202022
4 Aaron Bean Rep Fernandina Beach Nassau, part of Duval 20122022
5 Jennifer Bradley Rep Fleming Island Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Lafayette, Levy, Suwannee, Union, part of Marion 20202022
6 Audrey Gibson Dem Jacksonville Part of Duval 2011*2022
7 Travis Hutson Rep St. Augustine Flagler, St. Johns, part of Volusia 2015*2022
8 Keith Perry Rep Gainesville Alachua, Putnam, part of Marion 20162022
9 Jason Brodeur Rep Sanford Seminole, part of Volusia 20202022
10 Wilton Simpson Rep Trilby Citrus, Hernando, part of Pasco 20122022
11 Randolph Bracy Dem Orlando Part of Orange 20162022
12 Dennis Baxley Rep Ocala Sumter, parts of Lake and Marion 20122022
13 Linda Stewart Dem Orlando Part of Orange 20162022
14 Tom A. Wright Rep New Smryna Beach Parts of Brevard and Volusia 20182022
15 Victor M. Torres Jr. Dem Orlando Osceola, part of Orange 20162022
16 Ed Hooper Rep Clearwater Parts of Pasco and Pinellas 20182022
17 Debbie Mayfield Rep Melbourne Indian River, part of Brevard 20162022
18 Janet Cruz Dem Tampa Part of Hillsborough 20182022
19 Darryl Rouson Dem St. Petersburg Parts of Hillsborough and Pinellas 20162022
20 Danny Burgess Rep Zephyrhills Parts of Hillsborough, Pasco, and Polk 20202022
21 Jim Boyd Rep Bradenton Manatee, part of Hillsborough 20202022
22 Kelli Stargel Rep Lakeland Parts of Lake and Polk 20122022
23 Joe Gruters Rep Sarasota Sarasota, part of Charlotte 20182022
24 Jeff Brandes Rep St. Petersburg Part of Pinellas 20122022
25 Gayle Harrell Rep Stuart Martin, St. Lucie, part of Palm Beach 20182022
26 Ben Albritton Rep Wauchula DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Highlands, Okeechobee, parts of Charlotte, Lee, and Polk 20182022
27 Ray Rodrigues Rep Estero Parts of Charlotte and Lee 20202022
28 Kathleen Passidomo Rep Naples Collier, Hendry, part of Lee 20162022
29 Tina Polsky Dem Boca Raton Parts of Broward and Palm Beach 20202022
30 Bobby Powell Dem Riviera Beach Part of Palm Beach 20162022
31 Lori Berman Dem Lantana Part of Palm Beach 2018*2022
32 Lauren Book Dem Plantation Part of Broward 20162022
33 Perry E. Thurston Jr. Dem Fort Lauderdale Part of Broward 20162022
34 Gary Farmer Dem Lighthouse Point Part of Broward 20162022
35 Shevrin Jones Dem West Park Parts of Miami-Dade and Broward 20202022
36 Manny Díaz Jr. Rep Hialeah Part of Miami-Dade 20182022
37 Ileana Garcia Rep Miami Part of Miami-Dade 20202022
38 Jason Pizzo Dem North Miami Beach Part of Miami-Dade 20182022
39 Ana Maria Rodriguez Rep Doral Monroe, part of Miami-Dade 20202022
40 Annette Taddeo Dem Miami Part of Miami-Dade 2017*2022

*Elected in a special election.

District map

Current districts and party composition of the Florida Senate
Democratic Party
Republican Party Florida Senate.png
Current districts and party composition of the Florida Senate
  Democratic Party
  Republican Party

Past composition of the Senate

See also

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References

  1. Downey, Renzo (November 17, 2020). [COVID-19, impact on budget dominate Wilton Simpson’s first remarks as Senate President "COVID-19, impact on budget dominate Wilton Simpson's first remarks as Senate President"] Check |url= value (help). Florida Politics. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  2. Downey, Renzo (November 17, 2020). [COVID-19, impact on budget dominate Wilton Simpson’s first remarks as Senate President "COVID-19, impact on budget dominate Wilton Simpson's first remarks as Senate President"] Check |url= value (help). Florida Politics. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  3. https://twitter.com/FLSenateGOP/status/1334122645978304512.Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. Downey, Renzo (November 16, 2020). "Gary Farmer: No mandate against Joe Biden in Florida". Florida Politics. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  5. "The 2017 Florida Statutes F.S. 11.13 Compensation of members". Florida Legislature.
  6. "CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA". Florida Legislature. Archived from the original on December 8, 2008. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  7. "Senators". Florida Senate.
  8. "CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA". Florida Legislature.
  9. "Vote Yes On Amendment No. 9 To Begin Limiting Political Terms". Sun-Sentinel. October 27, 1992.
  10. Kevin Derby (February 11, 2016). "Florida Backs Article V Convention for Constitutional Amendment on Congressional Term Limits". Sunshine State News.
  11. "CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA". Florida Legislature.
  12. "Editorial:Advice to Legislature:Pursue limited agenda". Florida Today.
  13. "CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA". Florida Legislature.
  14. Buzzacco-Foerster, Jenna (February 18, 2016). "Proposal to move 2018 session to January heads House floor". Florida Politics. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
  15. "The Florida Constitution". Florida Legislature.
  16. "The Florida Senate Handbook" (PDF). Florida Senate.
  17. 1 2 "Statutes & Constitution: Online Sunshine". Florida Legislature. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  18. Flemming, Paul (March 8, 2009). Capital Ideas: Lawmakers face 2,138 proposals. Florida Today.
  19. 1 2 Cotterell, Bill (March 7, 2017). "Legislative session by the numbers". Florida Today. Melbourne,Florida. pp. 5A.
  20. And previous terms of service, if any.