Senate President Joe Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran have cancelled next week’s legislative committee week because of Hurricane Irma, they said in separate memos to members Wednesday.
Negron also said Senate offices in the Capitol “will remain open during regular business hours tomorrow (Thursday) … District staff should contact each Senator to determine appropriate office hours in your district offices as the storm approaches.
“As a precautionary measure, consistent with the Governor’s decision to close state offices in all 67 counties, I have authorized discretionary leave for all Senate employees, and all Senate offices will be closed on Friday,” he added.
“Please use this time to prepare your family and home. The specific trajectory of this unprecedented storm is still uncertain and impacts could vary drastically across the state. All Floridians need to be ready. Staff should monitor local weather advisories and adhere to local evacuation orders.”
Negron, a Stuart Republican, also authorized “Senate staff interested in volunteering in support of the state’s emergency shelter mobilization efforts up to 15 days of administrative leave.”
“I encourage all Senate employees to tend to the needs of your own family prior to pursuing volunteer opportunities,” he said. “We each have a responsibility to prepare our families and homes so that limited government resources can be used to help the most vulnerable. Please be safe and cautious during this time.”
In his memo, Corcoran said the next committee week would be Oct. 9-13. He also ordered all House offices closed on Friday.
“Earlier today, Gov. Scott stated that there is a need for volunteers at shelters throughout the state,” Corcoran added. “Please be supportive of these efforts if you are near an affected region.”