Florida Legislative Journals

Florida Legislative Journals

Uses of Journals

Both the House and the Senate publish an official journal for each day that each house is in formal session. The legislature begins a new set of page numbers each time a new session convenes. There is a separate index for each session, but no master index for the bound volume.

The House journals and the Senate journals for sessions 1998 onward are available online at www.myfloridahouse.gov or www.flsenate.gov, respectively. For the current session, before the index is available, the daily legislative computer printout (the Daily
Legislative Bill Information [sometimes entitled Provisional Legislative Bill Information]) will contain a cross-reference to the journal for each entry.

Note that the Legislature’s computer printouts cross-reference committee and floor actions to the respective journals.

The most important use of the journals is to trace bill history. There are indices by subject and bill number. Be sure to check the journals and the Legislature’s computer printout because each has information that the other does not.

Each journal has basic data about the number of Bills introduced each session, a listing of the Bills introduced by each legislator, all roll call votes, and a verbatim statement of every amendment to a bill in floor debate. One of the journals usually reproduces the Governor’s
messages to the Legislature.


and Recordings of Legislative Proceedings

Unlike the Congressional Record, the journals do not reproduce a transcript of the floor debate. Debate must be listened to from a recording.

Ordinarily, legislative debates and testimony are not transcribed in full. Recordings for formal sessions are available through the Clerk of the House or Secretary of the Senate.

The respective committees make recordings of committee debates. The Clerk, the Secretary, or the individual committees retain each recording for several years.

When finished with the recordings, usually after each biennium, they are sent to the Legislative Library. The Legislative Library eventually sends all legislative materials to the Florida State Archives in the R.A. Gray Building, Tallahassee, Florida.

Other limitations

Each journal begins on the first day of a legislative session and is published only for each day the House or Senate meets in formal session.

The journals are not published during the interim and do not carry any reports of interim committee activity.

When reporting the date a bill was introduced, note that the first reading of each bill reported in the journal at the start of each session is a formality observed for State constitutional reasons. Many bills are pre-filed, and often committee activity has taken place before the legislative session officially commences. To determine the date of prefiling and to learn of any interim committee action, examine the appropriate bill report in either the Daily Legislative Bill Information or the end of the session’s Final Legislative Bill Information.

Legislative Bill Information: Publications

Each day of the legislative session the Legislative Information Division produces a report in the form of a bound computer printout entitled Daily Legislative Bill Information (sometimes entitled Provisional Legislative Bill Information). At the end of the session, the Division
produces a final version of this computer printout and renames the report Final Legislative Bill Information. Before the 1987 special sessions B, C, and D, the final version was entitled History of Legislation.

Both of these documents are indexed by subject, bill number, andlegislator, with each day’s report including the cumulative action to date and whether there are any companion or similar bills for each bill as of the date of publication. Additionally, Final Legislative Bill
Information shows the final disposition of all bills, including the date of the Governor’s signing or vetoing, the session law chapter numbers of approved legislation, and various statistical reports for the session.

These documents also have an index by statute number that lists all bills introduced that relate to identified chapters or sections of the Florida Statutes . This provides a quick way to find out if a statute has been repealed or modified. Note, however, that this is not foolproof because not all bills are keyed to specific statutes.

Office of Economic and Demographic Research

The Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR), formally the Economic and Demographic Research Division of the Joint Legislative Management Committee, is a research arm of the Legislature.

When requested, the Office provides objective data to the Legislature or committee staffs.



See Also

About the Author/s and Rewiever/s

Author: United States

References and Further Reading

About the Author/s and Reviewer/s

Author: United States

Mentioned in these Entries

Bills, Florida Statutes.



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