On Thursday afternoon, Senate Democratic Leader Arthenia Joyner asked the Florida Supreme Court to order the House to return Friday, the session’s last regularly scheduled day.
The Court responded by ordering the House until 10 a.m. Friday to respond to the petition. The Democrats will then have until 12:30 p.m. to answer the House’s reply.
The complaint alleges the House’s action was unconstitutional. Florida’s Constitution includes a provision that neither chamber can adjourn for more than 72 hours during the regular session, without an agreement between the House and Senate.
The House and Senate are locked in a dispute over a Senate plan to provide health insurance to the working poor. When the House abruptly adjourned Tuesday members left town without the Legislature having passed a state budget for the fiscal year beginning in July.
Senate President Andy Gardiner is proposing lawmakers return to the state Capitol in June to work on a budget. Speaker Steve Crisafulli as of late Thursday afternoon had yet to responded to the offer.