Amended Senate bill moves up session only for 2016

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In 2016, the Legislature would meet on the second Tuesday in January, according to a scaled back version of a bill (SB 72) passing a Senate committee on Tuesday.

Initially, the bill originally sought to move the start of the 60-day session from March for every even-numbered year.

The GOP-led Senate Judiciary Committee, in a 5-3 vote that fell along party lines, passed an amended version that limited the change to only 2016.

Republican Sen. Anitere Flores, who sponsored SB 72, said changing the start time allows future lawmakers to determine what is “best for them.”

Currently, the Legislature must start the session in March of odd-numbered years, with the option to change start dates in even-numbered years.

The amended Senate bill is different from HB 9, the House plan calling for an early start in all even-numbered years.

The House bill could pass before the full chamber as soon as Wednesday.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.