The Florida Legislature will convene its regular legislative session in January, a couple of months earlier than usual. Lawmakers are allowed to set their own start date in even numbered years, enabling them to get their work done early when elections are looming.
Legislators are holding committee meetings in Tallahassee to get ready for the work ahead, but there hasn't been much in the way of results so far. A lot of the committees have met very little, if at all. "They've been sort of distracted," says Herald/Times Tallahassee bureau reporter Michael Auslen. "There's been redistricting, there's been a lot of focus on electing the next speaker of the House and president of the Senate."
Every bill that's passed by the Legislature and signed into law starts in a committee. That's where ideas are workshopped and changes are made. But the typical committee work has been sidetracked by special sessions on voting boundaries and disagreements among Republican leaders.
Lawmakers will likely seek to quell their differences so they can put up a united front ahead of the 2016 elections. As Auslen tells us, they'll also try to stay away from highly controversial legislation because many of them are running for reelection.