Florida Legislature
Overview
 
The Florida State Legislature is the term often used to refer to the two houses that act as the state legislature of the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

. The Florida Constitution
Florida Constitution
The Constitution of the State of Florida is the document that establishes and describes the duties, powers, structure and function of the government of the U.S. state of Florida, and establishes the basic law of the state....

 states that "The legislative power of the state shall be vested in a legislature of the State of Florida," composed of a Senate and House of Representatives. The legislature is seated at the Florida State Capitol
Florida State Capitol
The Florida State Capitol, in Tallahassee, Florida, USA, is the state capitol of the U.S. state of Florida. The building is an architecturally and historically significant building, having been listed on the National Register of Historic Places....

 in Tallahassee
Tallahassee, Florida
Tallahassee is the capital of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat and only incorporated municipality in Leon County, and is the 128th largest city in the United States. Tallahassee became the capital of Florida, then the Florida Territory, in 1824. In 2010, the population recorded by...

.
The Florida Constitution
Florida Constitution
The Constitution of the State of Florida is the document that establishes and describes the duties, powers, structure and function of the government of the U.S. state of Florida, and establishes the basic law of the state....

 mandates a bicameral state legislature with an upper house
Upper house
An upper house, often called a senate, is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house; a legislature composed of only one house is described as unicameral.- Possible specific characteristics :...

 Florida Senate
Florida Senate
The Florida Senate is the upper house of the Florida Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Florida. The Senate is composed of 40 members representing an equal number of districts, with each district having an average population of 470,032....

 of no more than 40 members and a lower
Lower house
A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house.Despite its official position "below" the upper house, in many legislatures worldwide the lower house has come to wield more power...

 Florida House of Representatives
Florida House of Representatives
The Florida House of Representatives is the lower house of the Florida Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Florida. The House is composed of 120 members representing an equal number of districts, with each district having an average population of 156,677.The House convenes at...

 of no more than 120 members.
Encyclopedia
The Florida State Legislature is the term often used to refer to the two houses that act as the state legislature of the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

. The Florida Constitution
Florida Constitution
The Constitution of the State of Florida is the document that establishes and describes the duties, powers, structure and function of the government of the U.S. state of Florida, and establishes the basic law of the state....

 states that "The legislative power of the state shall be vested in a legislature of the State of Florida," composed of a Senate and House of Representatives. The legislature is seated at the Florida State Capitol
Florida State Capitol
The Florida State Capitol, in Tallahassee, Florida, USA, is the state capitol of the U.S. state of Florida. The building is an architecturally and historically significant building, having been listed on the National Register of Historic Places....

 in Tallahassee
Tallahassee, Florida
Tallahassee is the capital of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat and only incorporated municipality in Leon County, and is the 128th largest city in the United States. Tallahassee became the capital of Florida, then the Florida Territory, in 1824. In 2010, the population recorded by...

.

Membership

The Florida Constitution
Florida Constitution
The Constitution of the State of Florida is the document that establishes and describes the duties, powers, structure and function of the government of the U.S. state of Florida, and establishes the basic law of the state....

 mandates a bicameral state legislature with an upper house
Upper house
An upper house, often called a senate, is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house; a legislature composed of only one house is described as unicameral.- Possible specific characteristics :...

 Florida Senate
Florida Senate
The Florida Senate is the upper house of the Florida Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Florida. The Senate is composed of 40 members representing an equal number of districts, with each district having an average population of 470,032....

 of no more than 40 members and a lower
Lower house
A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house.Despite its official position "below" the upper house, in many legislatures worldwide the lower house has come to wield more power...

 Florida House of Representatives
Florida House of Representatives
The Florida House of Representatives is the lower house of the Florida Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Florida. The House is composed of 120 members representing an equal number of districts, with each district having an average population of 156,677.The House convenes at...

 of no more than 120 members. A representative must be at least 21 years of age, a resident of the district in which he or she will serve, and a resident of Florida for at least two years before being qualified to run for election.

Due to term limits, House members may be elected for up to four terms (eight years), while State Senators can be elected for up to two terms (eight years). Former members can be elected again after a two year break.

Both chambers have been under Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 control since 1996.

Leadership

The House is headed by the Speaker, while the Senate is headed by the President. The House Speaker and Senate President control the assignment of committees and leadership positions, along with control of the agenda in their chambers. The two leaders are considered powerful statewide leaders and along with the Governor of Florida control most of the agenda of state business in Florida.

Senate

  • President of the Senate: Mike Haridopolos
    Mike Haridopolos
    Mike Haridopolos is a Republican Party politician from the U.S. state of Florida. He is president of the Florida Senate, a body in which he represents the 26th District. He was a candidate for the United States Senate in the 2012 election until he withdrew on July 18, 2011. His district of almost...

     (R)
  • President pro tempore of the Senate: Mike Bennett
    Michael S. Bennett
    Michael S. Bennett is a Republican member of the Florida Senate, who has represented the 21st District since 2002. He was a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 2001 to 2002....

     (R)
  • Majority Leader of the Senate: Andy Gardiner
    Andy Gardiner
    Andy Gardiner is the Majority Leader of the Florida Senate, a body in which he represents the 9th District. His district of almost 400,000 residents includes parts of Orange, Seminole, and Osceola Counties in Central Florida. Senator Andy Gardiner was sworn in as the State Senator from the 9th...

     (R)
  • Minority Leader of the Senate: Nan Rich
    Nan Rich
    Nan Rich is a Democratic member and current Minority Leader of the Florida Senate, representing the 34th District since 2004. Previously she was a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 2000 through 2004....

     (D)

House

  • Speaker of the House: Dean Cannon
    Dean Cannon
    Dean Cannon is a Representative in the House of Representatives of the Florida Legislature.He received his Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Florida in Journalism, and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida as well...

     (R)
  • Speaker pro tempore of the House: John Legg
    John Legg
    John Legg is a Florida educator and Republican politician who serves as the Representative for District 46 in the House of Representatives of the U.S. State of Florida....

     (R)
  • Majority Leader of the House: Carlos Lopez-Cantera
    Carlos Lopez-Cantera
    Carlos Lopez-Cantera is a Miami, Florida Republican politician who serves as the representative for District 113 of the House of Representatives of the State of Florida. He was first elected to the Florida House in 2004, and was successively reelected in 2006 and 2008. He is the Majority Whip for...

     (R)
  • Minority Leader of the House: Ronald Saunders
    Ronald Saunders
    Ronald Saunders is an attorney and a Representative in the Florida House of Representatives. Saunders is currently the House Minority Leader, and will serve in that position until 2012....

     (D)

Sessions

The Florida Legislature operates on a regular legislative session starting on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March for a period not to exceed 60 calendar days. Special sessions are called as needed.

Every ten years (1982, 1992, 2002, 2012, etc.), following the dicennial census, the Legislature provides, by law, for the 60-day regular session to begin early, typically in January.

Operations

The Legislature is empowered to make law, subject to the Governor's power to veto a bill. However, the veto may be overridden by the Legislature if there is a two-thirds majority in favor of overriding in each House. The Legislature also has the power to propose amendments to the Florida Constitution
Florida Constitution
The Constitution of the State of Florida is the document that establishes and describes the duties, powers, structure and function of the government of the U.S. state of Florida, and establishes the basic law of the state....

. The rules for the Florida Legislature are laid out within the Constitution of Florida, and is also prescribed the respective chambers when applicable. Florida has had a total of six different state constitutions, coming in 1838, 1861 (secession
Secession
Secession is the act of withdrawing from an organization, union, or especially a political entity. Threats of secession also can be a strategy for achieving more limited goals.-Secession theory:...

), 1865, 1868, 1885, and 1968 (the current Florida Constitution).

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

Earmarks
Earmark (politics)
In United States politics, an earmark is a legislative provision that directs approved funds to be spent on specific projects, or that directs specific exemptions from taxes or mandated fees...

 that have not gone through the normal legislative process are known coloquially as "turkeys." In 2010, Florida TaxWatch, a government watchdog organization counted 41 "turkeys" totaling $61 million.

See also

  • Florida State Capitol
    Florida State Capitol
    The Florida State Capitol, in Tallahassee, Florida, USA, is the state capitol of the U.S. state of Florida. The building is an architecturally and historically significant building, having been listed on the National Register of Historic Places....

  • Florida House of Representatives
    Florida House of Representatives
    The Florida House of Representatives is the lower house of the Florida Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Florida. The House is composed of 120 members representing an equal number of districts, with each district having an average population of 156,677.The House convenes at...

  • Florida Senate
    Florida Senate
    The Florida Senate is the upper house of the Florida Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Florida. The Senate is composed of 40 members representing an equal number of districts, with each district having an average population of 470,032....

  • The Florida Channel
    The Florida Channel
    The Florida Channel is a government-access television network operated by Florida State University's WFSU-TV and the Florida State Legislature. The channel is currently carried by 46 cable TV systems throughout the State of Florida either on a part-time or full-time basis as well as through nine...

  • Government of Florida
    Government of Florida
    The government of Florida is a constitutional republic with three branches of government, including the executive branch consisting of the Governor of Florida and the other elected and appointed constitutional officers; the legislative branch, the Florida Legislature, consisting of the Senate and...

  • Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability
    Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability
    The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability is the research arm of the Florida Legislature. OPPAGA supports the Florida Legislature by providing data, evaluative research, and objective analyses that assist legislative budget and policy deliberations...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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