Office of Senate Secretary
The Senate elects a Secretary of the Senate. This non-member constitutional officer has various responsibilities, including:
- Parliamentarian of the Senate.
- Keeping all Senate records.
- Authenticating each act and resolution passed by the Senate.
- Publishing the Journal and Calendar.
- Distributing of public documents.
- Providing Bill drafting services.
In addition, the Secretary's Office speaks to visiting civic and student groups and hosts numerous mock sessions throughout each year.
Documents & Publications
Documents & Publications
Various documents and publications are prepared by the Secretary of the Senate (Secretary) or are received and distributed by the Secretary. These documents are available electronically or in hard copy through the Document Center, 304 Capitol, (850) 487-5915.
FilingOnly Senators and permanent Senate professional staff may file amendments.
Floor amendments—Amendments that are to be considered in the chamber are filed in the Senate Document Center by the established deadline. Amendments are "late filed" if filed after the deadline or filed during session at the Amendment Desk in the chamber.
Amendments proposed for consideration at a committee meeting are assembled into a meeting packet; amendments filed for floor consideration are compiled into an amendment packet. Individual amendment copies or full packets are available in the Senate Document Center.
All amendments filed for floor consideration (adopted committee amendments, Senate amendments to Senate and House bills, engrossed amendments, engrossed Senate amendments to House bills, House amendments to Senate bills) and Senate floor action on such amendments are posted and can be viewed in the Session section.
When a bill is submitted for filing, it is jacketed, numbered, and printed for distribution. With certain exceptions, such bills must be filed by noon of the first day of the regular session.
Current year bills can be printed from the Session section or a copy of a bill may be picked up from the Senate Document Center. Copies of bills from the past 10 years are available on the archive site.
Senate adoption of an amendment to a Senate bill triggers the engrossing stage in a bill's history. Proper placement of the amendment within the bill and text accuracy of each amendment are verified. If passed by the Senate, the engrossed Senate bill is sent to Messages for transmittal to the House. Copies can be printed from the Session section or may be picked up from the Senate Document Center.
Each House bill, to which Senate amendments have been adopted, is checked for proper placement and accuracy of the text of the Senate amendments. An adopted Senate amendment to a Senate amendment is engrossed to make one amendment to the House bill. The House bill and its amendments are sent to Messages for transmittal to the House. Copies of Senate amendments to House bills can be printed from the Session section or may be picked up from the Senate Document Center.
Messages to the House
Bills that have been acted upon by the Senate are transmitted to the House, along with a message detailing the action(s) taken and requesting concurrence. Likewise, bills and messages are received from the House. Message summaries for bills to be considered on the Senate floor are available online. A bill may be transmitted several times between the houses.
Enrolling involves the preparation of a Senate bill for action by the Governor or transmittal to the Secretary of State. The enrolled Senate bill is signed by the President and Secretary of the Senate and the Speaker and Clerk of the House. It is also transmitted to the Division of Statutory Revision for use in the preparation of the Florida Statutes and the Laws of Florida. Current year bills can be printed from the Session section or may be picked up from the Senate Document Center.
The Senate Enrolling Clerk receives enrolled House bills for signature by Senate officers and returns these bills to the House Enrolling Clerk.
Committees provide the Secretary's Office with written notification of meetings that includes the date, time, and place of the meeting along with a list of bills (including the bill number, introducer, and a brief title) and other agenda items to be considered. Notices of all Senate and Joint committee meetings, and other meetings specified by Senate Rule, are published in the calendar.
During session, a Daily Calendar is published. It includes the Daily Order of Business; Bills on Special Order; Local, Consent, or Claim Bill Calendars; Bills on Second and Third Reading; Bills on Reconsideration; and notices of meetings scheduled for that day and the next two days. Also included is a tentative committee meeting and session schedule for the current week and subsequent week.
Between regular sessions, an Interim Calendar is prepared for each week of scheduled committee meetings. It includes notices of committee meetings, brief titles of all filed bills and references, and other important legislative information.
Documents generated or considered while the Senate is in session are available in the Senate Document Center and on the Internet. Amendments and votes are kept until publication of the daily Journal. A limited number of appropriation bills and related conference committee reports are available while supply lasts. Audio recordings and votes are retained permanently.
At the direction of each committee during session, preliminary committee meeting documents (agendas, proposed legislation, amendments, and professional bill analyses) are circulated to committee members and bill sponsors by the Senate Document Center. Upon distribution, copies are available to the public on each Committee page and from the Senate Document Center. Following the committee meeting, these preliminary documents are discarded and the official report is available.
Published by the Secretary, the Directory of the Florida Senate provides specified information about each Senator (name, district, and party affiliation; addresses and telephone numbers of district and Tallahassee offices; and the names and titles of professional staff). The directory also provides information concerning Senate committees and other legislative offices: directors, addresses, and telephone numbers. This document is updated as needed.
Handbooks, Manuals, & Reports
The Florida Senate Glossary
A selection of terms commonly used in the Florida Legislature, including words and phrases that have a usage unique to the Florida Senate.
The Florida Senate Handbook
Published by the Office of the Secretary biennially, the Florida Senate Handbook provides information on Senators and officers. It outlines and describes the Senate, its operations, and its relationship with the House and the other branches of government. It is distributed free of charge to Capitol visitors and other interested Floridians to enhance their knowledge and understanding of Florida's government, and particularly, the Florida Senate. Archives of previous handbooks are available on the archive.flsenate.gov.
The Florida Senate Rules and Manual
The Florida Senate Rules and Manual contains the Senate Rules, a list of Senate officers and members, germanity standards, forms of common motions, and the State Constitution. Copies of this manual are available in the Senate Document Center. Archives of previous Senate Rules are available on the archive.flsenate.gov.
Senate Kids – A Student Guide to the Florida Legislature
A printed student guide [PDF] to the Florida Legislature, similar to the Senate Kids website, contains facts about the Legislature and games and puzzles designed to help students learn.
The website is totally devoted to younger Floridians and designed to help them learn more about the Florida Legislature. Games and puzzles, coloring books, and fun and interesting Florida facts help kids learn about state government from the convenience of the Internet. This website provides children with information on Senate and House leaders, takes them on a photographic tour of the Capitol, and more.
The Senate Journal is the official record of proceedings in the Florida Senate. Based upon the daily order of business set by Senate Rule, the content of the Journal is also governed by constitutional and statutory requirements. First reading of bills by publication of title, amendments to bills, reports of committees, executive appointments and suspensions, communications from the Governor, messages from the House of Representatives, and votes taken are a few of the elements that must be included in the Journal.
Journals are prepared and published daily when the Legislature is in session. A copy of a daily journal is available for pickup in the Senate Document Center. When the session ends, the daily Journals are electronically compiled and published in a bound volume. Copies of the bound journals are distributed to all members of the Senate, the Governor, District Courts of Appeal, the Supreme Court, certain legislative offices, and the State Library. Distribution is made to various library depositories around the state and to the Library of Congress, and may also be purchased by private individuals at cost. Editions of bound journals are available from the 1998 session forward on the Internet. Archives of previous journals are available on the archive .flsenate.gov.
Copies of roll call votes, taken electronically, on questions considered on the chamber floor, are available to the public, either on the Internet or from the Senate Document Center.