Proposed Senate rules allow more committee meeting flexibility

Under the latest legislative rules proposed for the next two years, the Senate would have more latitude to hold committee meetings when and where they please.

Senate President-designate Wilton Simpson‘s office sent the newly-proposed rules to all senators Friday as well as the Joint Rules, which remain unchanged from the 2018-2020 set.

Senate rules previously forbid Senate committees from meeting past 6 p.m. But under the proposed rules, committees can enter recess and reconvene when and where the Senate President allows, even past 6 p.m., to complete unfinished agenda items.

With long committee meetings and Floridians traveling across the state for public comment, senators hope to be more accommodating to the public by reconvening later in the day rather than a week or two weeks later. And with the COVID-19 pandemic, the flexible location rule would allow senators to move the meeting to the Knott Building, which has refurbished committee rooms that are more conducive to social distancing.

Also with the latest rules, a member of the committee who is presenting a bill on behalf of the bill’s sponsor can also introduce an amendment on behalf of the bill sponsor.

Under former Senate President Joe Negron,

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