Florida House of Representatives
|Florida House of Representatives|
|Partisan control:||Republican Party|
|Term limits:||4 terms (8 years)|
|2015 session start:||March 3, 2015|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||Steve Crisafulli (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Dana Young (R)|
|Minority Leader:||Mark Pafford (D)|
Democratic Party (39)
Republican Party (81)
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Art III, Florida Constitution|
|Salary:||$29,697/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 4, 2014 (120 seats)|
|Next election:||November 8, 2016 (120 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Florida Legislature has control|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Representatives
- 6 Standing committees
- 7 History
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
The Speaker of the House is elected by the representatives for a two-year term. The speaker has the power to preside over the chamber during a session, to appoint committee members and chairs of committees, to influence the placement of bills on the calendar, and to rule on procedural motions. The Speaker pro tempore presides if the speaker leaves the chair or if there is a vacancy.
As of May 2015, Florida is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.
Article III of the Florida Constitution establishes when the Florida State Legislature, of which the House is a part, is to be in session. Section 3 of Article III states that the regular session of the Legislature is to convene on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March of each year. Regular sessions of the Legislature are not to exceed sixty days, unless extended by a three-fifths vote of each house.
Section 3 also allows for the convening of special sessions, either by the proclamation of the governor of Florida or as otherwise provided by law.
- See also: Dates of 2015 state legislative sessions
In 2015, the Legislature was in session from March 3 through May 1. A special session will be held from June 1 to June 20.
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature was in session from March 3 through May 5.
Major issues during the 2014 legislative session included creating a new budget using an $850 million surplus, a package of $500 million in tax cuts called for by the governor, Common Core and Medicaid expansion.
On May 2, 2014, legislators approved a $77 billion state budget which increased spending on schools, child welfare and the cleanup of damaged water bodies. The budget included a 5 percent raise for state law-enforcement officers and an increase for some working in the judiciary. Critics of the budget argued that the budget should have included raises for a much larger portion of state workers.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from March 5 through May 3.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the House was in session from January 10 through March 9.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the House was in session from March 8 through May 6.
In 2011, the legislature reduced government spending and avoided raising taxes. Spending was reduced by $1 billion from the previous year, and $4 billion less than in 2006. Florida also removed 14,000 businesses from corporate tax income rolls. Areas that spending was cut included education and social programs. The legislature removed funding from a veteran's homeless support group, reduced payments to social workers by 15 percent, and spent $2.5 billion less on education than the previous year.
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
In 2010, the House of Representatives was in session from March 2nd to April 30th.
Role in state budget
- See also: Florida state budget and finances
- In July of the year preceding the start of the new fiscal year, the governor sends budget instructions to state agencies.
- In October agencies submit their budget requests to the governor.
- Budget hearings are held with state agencies in September.
- Public hearings are held in both September and January.
- In February the governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature.
- The legislature adopts a budget in April or May, effective for the fiscal year beginning in July. A simple majority is required to pass a budget.
The governor is constitutionally and statutorily required to submit a balanced budget to the legislature. In turn, the legislature must pass a balanced budget, and any budget signed into law by the governor must be balanced.
Florida budgets three major funds: the General fund, the Major Special Revenue Fund and the Special Revenue Fund. Both the Major Special Revenue Fund and the Special Revenue Fund are comprised of lesser funds. The Major Special Revenue Fund is composed of three lesser funds, and the Special Revenue Fund is composed of about 19 to 20 lesser funds.
The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 indicating that cost-benefit analysis in policymaking led to more effective uses of public funds. Looking at data from 2008 through 2011, the study's authors found that some states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis, while others were facing challenges and lagging behind the rest of the nation. The challenges states faced included a lack of time, money and technical skills needed to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. Florida was one of the 10 states that used cost-benefit analysis more than the rest of the states with respect to determining return on investment regarding state programs. In addition, these states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis with respect to large budget areas and when making policy decisions.
Ethics and transparency
Following the Money report
- See also: "Following the Money" report, 2014
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites in April 2014. The report, entitled "Following the Money," measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending. According to the report, Florida received a grade of A- and a numerical score of 92.5, indicating that Florida was "leading" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Florida was given a grade of C in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data was to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A: Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
Elections for the office of Florida House of Representatives took place in 2014. A primary election took place on August 26, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was June 20, 2014.
This chamber was mentioned in a November 2012 Pew Center on the States article that addressed supermajorities at stake in the 2012 election. Supermajority generally means a party controls two-thirds of all seats. While it varies from state to state, being in this position gives a party much greater power. Going into the election, Republicans in the Florida House held a supermajority, which Democrats looked to cut into.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Florida House of Representatives|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 29||Mike Clelland||0.2%||73,820||Chris Dorworth|
|District 42||Mike LaRosa||0.8%||63,229||Eileen Game|
|District 63||Mark Danish||1.1%||66,342||Shawn Harrison|
|District 59||Ross Spano||1.6%||67,221||Gail Gottlieb|
|District 114||Erik Fresen||2.3%||60,281||Ross Hancock|
|District 24||Travis Hutson||2.3%||79,725||Milissa Holland|
|District 41||John Wood||2.9%||62,873||Karen Cooper Welzel|
|District 84||Larry Lee, Jr.||4.4%||65,715||Michelle Miller|
|District 69||Kathleen Peters||4.7%||76,741||Josh Shulman|
|District 120||Holly Merrill Raschein||4.8%||59,092||Ian Whitney|
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was April 30, 2010, and the primary Election Day was August 24, 2010.
|Florida House of Representatives|
|Party||As of November 1, 2010||After the 2010 Election|
In 2010, the total amount of contributions raised in house campaigns was $30,673,659. The top 10 overall donors were:
|2010 Donors, Florida House of Representatives|
|Florida Republican Party||$1,973,004|
|Florida Democratic Party||$1,016,800|
|Florida Chamber of Commerce||$240,300|
|Hospital Corporation of America||$196,500|
|Florida Association of Realtors||$163,000|
|Brandes, Jeffrey R||$152,338|
|Frank, Stacy C||$139,975|
|Southern Gardens Citrus Holding Corp||$126,500|
|Steinberg, Michael A||$122,212|
Elections for the office of Florida House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 26, 2008, and a general election on November 4, 2008.
During the 2008 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $30,318,643. The top 10 contributors were:
|2008 Donors, Florida House of Representatives|
|Florida Republican Party||$1,922,304|
|Florida Democratic Party||$915,083|
|Hospital Corp of America||$219,750|
|Lopez, Jorge Luis||$207,972|
|Roberson, Kenneth L||$206,883|
|Florida Institute of Cpas||$177,000|
|Florida Association of Realtors||$151,750|
|Hammond, Eric J||$138,925|
|Florida Hospital Association||$135,050|
Elections for the office of Florida House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 5, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006.
During the 2006 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $27,341,108. The top 10 contributors were:
|2006 Donors, Florida House of Representatives|
|Florida Republican Party||$1,006,663|
|Florida Democratic Party||$681,893|
|Holder Jr, Douglas A||$398,299|
|Padron, Eric C||$195,194|
|Florida Association of Realtors||$195,100|
|Turesky, Leonard M||$150,000|
|Hospital Corp of America||$145,000|
|Florida Hospital Association||$133,636|
|Florida Institute of Cpas||$125,800|
|Florida Chamber Of Commerce||$119,000|
Elections for the office of Florida House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 31, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004.
During the 2004 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $18,605,869. The top 10 contributors were:
|2004 Donors, Florida House of Representatives|
|Florida Republican Party||$1,315,624|
|Florida Democratic Party||$564,781|
|Hospital Corp of America||$168,151|
|Florida Association of Realtors||$163,200|
|Florida Hospital Association||$110,167|
|Florida Institute of Cpas||$104,384|
|Florida Home Builders Association||$82,784|
|Florida Chamber of Commerce||$78,784|
Elections for the office of Florida House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 10, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002.
During the 2002 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $22,545,724. The top 10 contributors were:
|2002 Donors, Florida House of Representatives|
|Florida Republican Party||$1,428,741|
|Florida Democratic Party||$625,434|
|Domino, Carl J||$271,750|
|Florida Institute of Cpas||$124,500|
|Hospital Corp of America||$113,250|
|Florida Hospital Association||$112,750|
|Florida Power & Light||$111,250|
|Florida Association of Realtors||$107,049|
Elections for the office of Florida House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 5, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000.
During the 2000 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $29,474,769. The top 10 contributors were:
|2000 Donors, Florida House of Representatives|
|Florida Republican Party||$1,426,082|
|Florida Democratic Party||$983,924|
|Domino, Carl J||$210,900|
|Florida Power & Light||$179,288|
|Florida Association of Realtors||$158,980|
To run for the Florida House of Representatives, candidates must be 21 years old, have lived in Florida for two years and live in the district they intend to serve.
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the house, a special election must be called to fill the vacant seat. The governor is responsible for calling the election and must consult with the secretary of state to set the election dates and nominating deadlines. The person elected to fill the seat serves for the remainder of the unexpired term.
- See also: State legislatures with term limits
The Florida legislature is one of 15 state legislatures with term limits. Voters enacted the Florida Term Limits Act in 1992. That initiative said that Florida representatives are subject to term limits of no more than four four-year terms.
- See also: Redistricting in Florida
The Florida Legislature is responsible for redistricting. For state legislative redistricting, the legislature must first pass a joint resolution, which is then sent to the state Supreme Court for review. If it is accepted, the plan becomes law. If it is not, the legislature holds a 15 day session to approve a new plan. If the second plan does not pass the Court or if the legislature fails to approve a new plan during the 15 days, the Court has 60 days to design their own plan.
Florida received its 2010 local census data on March 16, 2011. The state population increased by 2.8 million residents, or 17.6 percent. Going into redistricting, it was clear that Amendment 5, passed by voters in 2010, was going to have a major impact on the process. Amendment 5 established that legislative district boundaries had to be drawn in such ways that they establish "fairness," are "as equal in population as feasible" and use "city, county and geographical boundaries."
On February 3, the state House Redistricting Committee approved a redistricting proposal for consideration by the full chamber. Proponents of the Fair Redistricting amendments attacked the plan, saying it unconstitutionally favored Republicans.
On February 9, the Florida State Legislature gave final approval to the state's redistricting maps, sending them to the Florida Supreme Court for approval. The legislative maps were approved 80-37 in the House and 31-7 in the Senate. On March 10, the Florida Supreme Court issued a 234-page decision rejecting the state’s new Senate maps, while upholding the new House districts and providing extensive interpretation of the state's 2010 redistricting reform amendment.
- See also: Partisan composition of state houses
|Party||As of May 2015|
The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body and is elected to a two year term by fellow Representatives. An important duty of the Speaker is the appointment of committee members and selection of their Chairs.
|Current Leadership, Florida House of Representatives|
|State Speaker of the House||Steve Crisafulli||Republican|
|Speaker Pro Tempore||Matt Hudson||Republican|
|House Majority Leader||Dana Young||Republican|
|House Minority Leader||Mark Pafford||Democratic|
|State House Minority Leader Pro Tempore||Mia Jones||Democratic|
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the Florida legislature are paid $29,687 per year. Legislators are allowed $131 per day for per diem, tied to the federal rate. Travel vouchers are required.
When sworn in
Florida legislators assume office two weeks following their election.
For the 2015 regular session, the Florida House has nine standing committees:
- Economic Affairs
- Health & Human Services
- Local & Federal Affairs
- Regulatory Affairs
- Rules, Calendar & Ethics
- State Affairs
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the Florida State House of Representatives for the last 17 years while the Democrats were the majority for five years. During the final three years of the study, Florida was under Republican trifectas.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
SQLI and partisanship
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Florida state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. During the years studied, Florida achieved place in the top-10 in only one year (2007). The state had one Democratic trifecta in 1992, while it has had a Republican trifecta for a total of fourteen years. Florida’s most precipitous drop in the SQLI ranking occurred between 2007 and 2008, when the state dropped from 8th to 19th. Florida also experienced a significant drop in the ranking between 2009 and 2010.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 29.00
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 19.00
- SQLI average with divided government: 29.71
- Official website of the Florida House of Representatives
- Official list of the current members of the Florida House of Representatives
- Florida House of Representatives on Wikipedia
- Florida House districts
- Florida Senate Website Archive, "Florida Constitution," accessed December 16, 2013(referenced Article III, Section 15a)
- U.S. Census Bureau, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed January 6, 2014
- U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population: 2000," April 2, 2001
- Fort Myers News-Press, "SWFL front and center come 2015 legislative session," January 28, 2015
- gainesville.com, "Big issues loom in next legislative session," September 22, 2013
- news-press.com, "State workers forgotten again in Florida budget," May 3, 2014
- bradenton.com, "Fla. legislators reach deal on spending items," April 28, 2014(Archived)
- Yahoo.com, "Florida legislature passes bill restricting drone use," April 17, 2013(Archived)
- boardroombrief.com, "Florida Legislature – 2013 session overview," May 17, 2013
- Stateline.org, "States balance budgets with cuts, not taxes," June 15, 2011(Archived)
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
- State Budget Solutions, "Florida: Background," accessed April 15, 2014
- Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
- U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- PEW Charitable Trusts, "In Legislative Elections, Majorities and Supermajorities at Stake," November 2, 2012
- Follow the Money, "Florida House 2010 Campaign Contributions," accessed April 22, 2015
- Follow the Money, "Florida 2008 Candidates," accessed July 12, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Florida 2006 Candidates," accessed July 12, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Florida 2004 Candidates," accessed July 12, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Florida 2002 Candidates," accessed July 12, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Florida 2000 Candidates," accessed July 12, 2013
- Florida Division of Elections, "Candidate Qualifying Information," accessed December 16, 2013
- Florida Legislature, "Florida Election Law," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Statute 100.101(2), Florida Election Code)
- Florida Legislature, "Florida Election Law," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Statute 100.141 (1) (2), Florida Election Code)
- Florida Legislature, "Florida Election Law," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Statute 100.111 (1) (a-c), Florida Election Code)
- Rose Report, "Florida Redistricting: The Complete Analysis," February 22, 2010(Archived)
- Naples News, "Florida picks up 2 congressional seats, 2010 Census shows," December 21, 2010
- The Daily Loaf, "Fair Districts Florida makes it on 2010 ballot," January 22, 2010
- South Florida Times, "House Panel Approved Florida Redistricting Plans," February 3, 2012(Archived)
- CBS Miami, "Florida House Approves New Senate Redistricting Plan," accessed April 22, 2015
- local10.com, "Florida redistricting plans get final passage," accessed April 22, 2015
- WJHJ, "Florida Supreme Court Justices Reject Senate Redistricting Plan," March 9, 2012
- Florida House of Representatives, "Leadership Offices," accessed March 25, 2015
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
State of Florida
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