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Florida Constitution Revision Commission

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PUB 700048: The Legislature by Loyal Millett

ARTICLE III: LEGISLATURE, Section 2. Members; officers.

SECTION 2.Members; officers.

(a) Each house shall be the sole judge of the qualifications, elections, and returns of its members, and shall biennially choose its officers, including a permanent presiding officer selected from its membership, who shall be designated in the senate as President of the Senate, and in the house as Speaker of the House of Representatives. No person shall serve as President of the Senate in excess of four years; and no person shall serve as Speaker of the House of Representatives in excess of four years. Such years need not be consecutive.

(b) The senate shall designate a Secretary to serve at its pleasure, and the house of representatives shall designate a Clerk to serve at its pleasure. The legislature shall appoint an auditor to serve at its pleasure who shall audit public records and perform related duties as prescribed by law or concurrent resolution.

ARTICLE III: LEGISLATURE, Section 3. Sessions of the legislature.

SECTION 3.

Sessions of the Llegislature.

  1. ORGANIZATION SESSIONS. On the fourteenth day following each general election the legislature shall convene for the exclusive purpose of organization and selection of officers.
  2. REGULAR SESSIONS. A regular session of the legislature shall convene annually on the first Monday of February.Tuesday after the first Monday in March of each odd-numbered year, and on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March, or such other date as may be fixed by law, of each even-numbered year.
  3. SPECIAL SESSIONS.
    1. The governor, by proclamation stating the purpose, may convene the legislature in special session during which only such legislative business may be transacted as is within the purview of the proclamation, or of a communication from the governor, or is introduced by consent of two-thirds of the membership of each house.
    2. A special session of the legislature may be convened as provided by law.
  4. LENGTH OF SESSIONS. A regular session of the legislature shall not exceed sixty one-hundred-twenty consecutive days, and a special session shall not exceed twenty thirty consecutive days, unless extended beyond such limit by a three-fifths vote of each house. During such an extension no new business may be taken up in either house without the consent of two-thirds of its membership.
  5. ADJOURNMENT. Neither house shall adjourn for more than seventy-two consecutive hours except pursuant to concurrent resolution.
  6. ADJOURNMENT BY GOVERNOR. If, during any regular or special session, the two houses cannot agree upon a time for adjournment, the governor may adjourn the session sine die or to any date within the period authorized for such session; provided that, at least twenty-four hours before adjourning the session, and while neither house is in recess, each house shall be given formal written notice of the governor's intention to do so, and agreement reached within that period by both houses on a time for adjournment shall prevail.

ARTICLE III: LEGISLATURE, Section 15. Terms and qualifications of legislators.

SECTION 15.Terms and qualifications of legislators.
  1. SENATE; SENATORS. Senators shall be elected for terms of four years, those from odd-numbered districts in the years the numbers of which are multiples of four and those from even-numbered districts in even-numbered years the numbers of which are not multiples of four; except, at the election next following a reapportionment, some senators shall be elected for terms of two years when necessary to maintain staggered terms.The Senate shall consist of 45 senators who shall be elected in even-numbered years. In the first general election following each decennial census, the senators from the even-numbered districts shall be elected for terms of 2-years, 4-years, and 4-years; and the senators from the odd-numbered districts shall be elected for terms of 4-years, 2-years, and 4-years.
  2. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Members of the house of representatives The House of Representatives shall consist of 155 members who shall be elected for terms of two years in each even-numbered year.
  3. QUALIFICATIONS. Each legislator shall be at least twenty-one eighteen years of age, an elector and resident of the district from which elected and shall have resided in the state for a period of two years prior to election.
  4. ASSUMING OFFICE; VACANCIES. Members of the legislature shall take office upon election. Vacancies in legislative office shall be filled only by election as provided by law.

ARTICLE III: LEGISLATURE, Section 16. Legislative apportionment.

SECTION 16. Legislative apportionment.
  1. SENATORIAL AND REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICTS. The legislature at its regular session in the second year following each decennial census, by joint resolution, shall apportion the state in accordance with the constitution of the state and of the United States into not less than thirty nor more than forty consecutively numbered senatorial districts of either contiguous, overlapping or identical territory, and into not less than eighty nor more than one hundred twenty consecutively numbered representative districts of either contiguous, overlapping or identical territory. Should that session adjourn without adopting such joint resolution, the governor by proclamation shall reconvene the legislature within thirty days in special apportionment session which shall not exceed thirty consecutive days, during which no other business shall be transacted, and it shall be the mandatory duty of the legislature to adopt a joint resolution of apportionment.
  2. FAILURE OF LEGISLATURE TO APPORTION; JUDICIAL REAPPORTIONMENT. In the event a special apportionment session of the legislature finally adjourns without adopting a joint resolution of apportionment, the attorney general shall, within five days, petition the supreme court of the state to make such apportionment. No later than the sixtieth day after the filing of such petition, the supreme court shall file with the custodian of state records an order making such apportionment.
  3. JUDICIAL REVIEW OF APPORTIONMENT. Within fifteen days after the passage of the joint resolution of apportionment, the attorney general shall petition the supreme court of the state for a declaratory judgment determining the validity of the apportionment. The supreme court, in accordance with its rules, shall permit adversary interests to present their views and, within thirty days from the filing of the petition, shall enter its judgment.
  4. EFFECT OF JUDGMENT IN APPORTIONMENT; EXTRAORDINARY APPORTIONMENT SESSION. A judgment of the supreme court of the state determining the apportionment to be valid shall be binding upon all the citizens of the state. Should the supreme court determine that the apportionment made by the legislature is invalid, the governor by proclamation shall reconvene the legislature within five days thereafter in extraordinary apportionment session which shall not exceed fifteen days, during which the legislature shall adopt a joint resolution of apportionment conforming to the judgment of the supreme court.
  5. EXTRAORDINARY APPORTIONMENT SESSION; REVIEW OF APPORTIONMENT. Within fifteen days after the adjournment of an extraordinary apportionment session, the attorney general shall file a petition in the supreme court of the state setting forth the apportionment resolution adopted by the legislature, or if none has been adopted reporting that fact to the court. Consideration of the validity of a joint resolution of apportionment shall be had as provided for in cases of such joint resolution adopted at a regular or special apportionment session.
  6. JUDICIAL REAPPORTIONMENT. Should an extraordinary apportionment session fail to adopt a resolution of apportionment or should the supreme court determine that the apportionment made is invalid, the court shall, not later than sixty days after receiving the petition of the attorney general, file with the custodian of state records an order making such apportionment.

ARTICLE III: LEGISLATURE, Section 17. Impeachment.

SECTION 17.Impeachment.
  1. The governor, lieutenant governor, members of the cabinet, justices of the supreme court, judges of district courts of appeal, judges of circuit courts, judges of the environmental courts, and judges of county courts shall be liable to impeachment for misdemeanor in office. The house of representatives by two-thirds vote shall have the power to impeach an officer. The speaker of the house of representatives shall have power at any time to appoint a committee to investigate charges against any officer subject to impeachment.
  2. An officer impeached by the house of representatives shall be disqualified from performing any official duties until acquitted by the senate, and, unless impeached, the governor may by appointment fill the office until completion of the trial.
  3. All impeachments by the house of representatives shall be tried by the senate. The chief justice of the supreme court, or another justice designated by the chief justice, shall preside at the trial, except in a trial of the chief justice, in which case the governor shall preside. The senate shall determine the time for the trial of any impeachment and may sit for the trial whether the house of representatives be in session or not. The time fixed for trial shall not be more than six months after the impeachment. During an impeachment trial senators shall be upon their oath or affirmation. No officer shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members of the senate present. Judgment of conviction in cases of impeachment shall remove the offender from office and, in the discretion of the senate, may include disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust or profit. Conviction or acquittal shall not affect the civil or criminal responsibility of the officer.

ARTICLE III: LEGISLATURE, Section 20. Standards for establishing congressional district boundaries.

SECTION 20. Standards for establishing congressional district boundaries.

In establishing congressional district boundaries:

  1. No apportionment plan or individual district shall be drawn with the intent to favor or disfavor a political party or an incumbent; and districts shall not be drawn with the intent or result of denying or abridging the equal opportunity of racial or language minorities to participate in the political process or to diminish their ability to elect representatives of their choice; and districts shall consist of contiguous territory.
  2. Unless compliance with the standards in this subsection conflicts with the standards in subsection (a) or with federal law, districts shall be as nearly equal in population as is practicable; districts shall be compact; and districts shall, where feasible, utilize existing political and geographical boundaries.
  3. The order in which the standards within subsections (a) and (b) of this section are set forth shall not be read to establish any priority of one standard over the other within that subsection.

ARTICLE III: LEGISLATURE, Section 21. Standards for establishing legislative district boundaries.

SECTION 21. Standards for establishing legislative district boundaries.

In establishing legislative district boundaries:

  1. No apportionment plan or district shall be drawn with the intent to favor or disfavor a political party or an incumbent; and districts shall not be drawn with the intent or result of denying or abridging the equal opportunity of racial or language minorities to participate in the political process or to diminish their ability to elect representatives of their choice; and districts shall consist of contiguous territory.
  2. Unless compliance with the standards in this subsection conflicts with the standards in subsection (a) or with federal law, districts shall be as nearly equal in population as is practicable; districts shall be compact; and districts shall, where feasible, utilize existing political and geographical boundaries.
  3. The order in which the standards within subsections (a) and (b) of this section are set forth shall not be read to establish any priority of one standard over the other within that subsection.

ARTICLE III: LEGISLATURE, New Section.

Catchline: Legislative and congressional apportionment.

 

(a) LEGISLATIVE AND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS.

 

(1) On the first Monday of April of the first year following each decennial census, the reapportionment commission shall apportion the State in accordance with the Constitution of the State of Florida and of the United States into 45 senatorial districts, 155 representative districts, and congressional districts numbered consecutively.

(2) No legislative district and no congressional district shall ever be drawn with the intent to favor or disfavor a political party or an incumbent; and districts shall not be drawn with the intent or result of denying or abridging the equal opportunity of racial or language minorities to participate in the political process or to diminish their ability to elect legislators and representatives of their choice. The legislative districts and the congressional districts shall be as nearly equal in population as is practicable; the districts shall be compact; and the districts shall, where feasible, utilize existing political and geographical boundaries.

(b) JUDICIAL REVIEW OF APPORTIONMENT.

(1) The reapportionment commission shall, no later than the first Monday of June of the same year, submit its final plans for legislative districts and congressional districts to the college of justice for a declaratory judgment determining the validity of the final apportionment plans. The college of justice, in accordance with its rules, shall permit adversary interests to present their views and, within thirty days from the submission of the final apportionment plans, shall enter its judgment.

(2) The college of justice shall consist of the chief justice of the Supreme Court, who shall act as chair, and the chief judges of each District Court of Appeal. The college of justice shall meet at the Supreme Court in Tallahassee.

(c) EFFECT OF JUDGMENT IN APPORTIONMENT

A judgment of the college of justice determining the apportionment to be valid shall be binding upon all the citizens of the state. Should the college of justice determine that the final apportionment made by the reapportionment commission is invalid, the Governor by proclamation shall reconvene the reapportionment commission, and within five days thereafter shall adopt a new plan of apportionment conforming to the judgment of the college of justice.

(d) REAPPORTIONMENT COMMISSION

(1) The reapportionment commission shall consist of 17 members as follows:

(i) five members shall be appointed by the Governor;

(ii) five members shall be appointed by the Attorney-General; and

(iii) seven retired circuit judges shall be appointed by a majority of the justices of the Supreme Court.

(2) No more than five members shall be members of the same political party. The membership of the reapportionment commission shall reflect the ethnic, cultural, and regional diversity of the state. The members shall select, from their number, one of the retired circuit judges to serve as the chair.

(3) Nine members shall constitute a quorum. Nine or more affirmative votes shall be required for any official action. The reapportionment commission shall:

(i) ensure full public participation in the reapportionment process;

(ii) conduct an open and transparent process enabling full public consideration of and comment on the drawing of district lines;

(iii) draw district lines according to the redistricting criteria specified in this Section; and

(iv) conduct themselves with integrity and fairness.

(4) The legislature shall provide the necessary funds for the reapportionment commission to carry out its duties.