Florida House of Representatives
|Florida House of Representatives|
|Term limits:||4 terms (8 years)|
|2013 session start:||March 5, 2013|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||Dean Cannon, (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Carlos Lopez-Cantera, (R)|
|Minority leader:||Ron Saunders, (D)|
| Democratic Party (44)|
Republican Party (75)
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Art III, Florida Constitution|
|Salary:||$29,697/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 6, 2012 (120 seats)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014 (120 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Florida Legislature has control|
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.
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 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature is in session from March 5 to May 3.
Issues identified as priorities in the legislative agenda for 2013 include:
- Election Reform
- Ethics Reform
- Higher Ed Reform
- Affordable Care Act
- 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 will be reduced by $1 billion from last year, and $4 billion less than in 2006. Florida also removed 14,000 businesses from corporate tax income rolls. Areas that spending was cut include education and social programs. The legislature removed funding from a veteran's homeless support group, reduced payments to social workers by 15 percent, and will spend $2.5 billion less on education than last year. 
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
In 2010, the House of Representatives was in session from March 2nd to April 30th.
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|
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: 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 state 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 2013|
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|
|Speaker of the House||Will W. Weatherford||Republican|
|Speaker pro tempore||Marti Coley||Republican|
|House Majority Leader||Stephen Precourt||Republican|
|House Minority Leader||Perry E. Thurston, Jr.||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 2013 regular session the Florida House has 9 standing committees:
- Economic Affairs
- Health & Human Services
- Local & Federal Affairs
- Regulatory Affairs
- Rules & Calendar
- State Affairs
Note: There is no standing Redistricting Committee for the 2013 regular session.
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 579 Democratic and 482 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992-2013.
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 have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
- 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
- ↑ Population in 2010 of the American states
- ↑ Population in 2000 of the American states
- ↑ Sun Sentinel "Florida Legislature's top priorities in 2013" Accessed January 3, 2012
- ↑ Stateline.org, States balance budgets with cuts, not taxes, June 15, 2011
- ↑ Stateline, "In Legislative Elections, Majorities and Supermajorities at Stake," November 2, 2012
- ↑ Follow the Money: "Florida House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- ↑ Qualifications for Senate
- ↑ Florida Legislature "Florida Election Law"(Referenced Statute 100.101(2), Florida Election Code)
- ↑ Florida Legislature "Florida Election Law"(Referenced Statute 100.141 (1) (2), Florida Election Code)
- ↑ Florida Legislature "Florida Election Law"(Referenced Statute 100.111 (1) (a-c), Florida Election Code)
- ↑ Rose Report, "Florida Redistricting: The Complete Analysis," February 22, 2010
- ↑ 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
- ↑ Miamia Herald, "House voting on Florida redistricting plans," February 2, 2012
- ↑ Miami Herald, "Florida redistricting plans get final passage," February 9, 2012
- ↑ WJHJ, "Florida Supreme Court Justices Reject Senate Redistricting Plan," March 9, 2012
- ↑ Florida House Leaders
- ↑ NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
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