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Some lawmakers bowing out of Special Session

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

(Originally published Tuesday, June 6, 2017)

At least eight House members and one senator won’t be attending some or all of this week’s Special Session, set for Wednesday-Friday. 

The June meeting is conflicting with some lawmakers’ plans, including one whose brother is getting married out of state.

Below is a list, as of Tuesday afternoon, of lawmakers asking for and receiving excused absences for part or all of the three-day session, with reasons given:

— Rep. Bruce Antone, an Orlando Democrat, excused Wednesday for a “previously scheduled commitment.”

— Rep. Larry Lee Jr., a Port St. Lucie Democrat, excused Friday to host an annual “Restoring the Village” community event “that was planned a year in advance.”

— Rep. Alex Miller, a Sarasota Republican, excused all three days as she recovers from surgery.

— Rep. Mike Miller, a Winter Park Republican, excused Wednesday and Thursday because he’s “out of the country.”

— Rep. Cary Pigman, an Avon Park Republican, excused Friday morning for a “prior engagement.”

— Rep. Scott Plakon, a Longwood Republican, excused Friday because of “previous commitments.”

— Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, an Orlando Democrat, excused Wednesday and Thursday because he’ll be in Washington, D.C. with a Pulse nightclub shooting survivor speaking to members of Congress, and then attending the unveiling of a mural at the University of Central Florida commemorating Pulse victims, survivors and first responders.

— Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, a Mount Dora Republican, excused all three days because her “brother is getting married in Arkansas.”

— Sen. Dorothy Hukill, a Port Orange Republican, excused all three days as she continues to recover from cancer treatment and surgery.

We’ll add any more names as we receive them.

Updated Wednesday: 

— Rep. Joe AbruzzoBoynton Beach Democrat, excused Wednesday because of a “previously scheduled conflict in my district.”

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Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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