The Florida Senate may “the most conservative Senate ever,” as President Mike Haridopolos boasted at the onset of the legislative session.
But it’s apparently not conservative enough to pass House Speaker Dean Cannon’s sweeping overhaul of the Supreme Court that would, among other things, split the court in two.
As the clock winds down until lawmakers sine die on Friday, the Senate plan today is to remove at least that part of the proposed constitutional amendment, keep the provision allowing the legislature to have control over the court’s rules and send it back to the House for another vote.
“Our members have felt pretty strongly about splitting up the Supreme Court,” Senate Majority Leader Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, said. “What you’re going to see is an option sent back to the House.”
Senate GOP leaders (who have a 28-12 majority) won’t say out loud that they don’t have the 24 votes needed to pass the proposed constitutional amendment.
But Gardiner, whose job is to count votes and corral the GOP caucus, conceded the speaker’s priority measure wouldn’t pass as is.
“You never count out votes until you sine die but I do think there’s a strong sense amongst our members about the Supreme Court piece,” Gardiner said.