Bayard is a historical community of Duval County, Florida, US. Platted in 1884, the community was a busy stopping point for tourists and industry through the early part of the 20th century. In the early 2000s, the City of Jacksonville began developing The Bayard Community Plan in an effort to preserve the character of Bayard as Jacksonville expands towards the community. Bayard was a planned development platted in 1884 to serve as a midpoint between Jacksonville and St. Augustine; the area soon became busy. With easy access to transportation provided by railroad and waterways and with close proximity to sawmills and turpentine distilleries, it was a convenient depot town. Tourists used it as a rest stop, both before and after the 1934 completion of U. S. Route 1; the origin of Bayard's name is disputed. According to the City of Jacksonville, the community was named for Thomas F. Bayard. Locals indicate instead that the community is named for Bayard Clinch, the son of Duncan Lamont Clinch, an assertion that dates back at least to 1939.
Bayard's commercial development through its early years reflects its use as a stopping point, with gift shops and places for travelers to stay. Among its early historical buildings was The Bayard Inn. Opened in 1899 by Juliet Wing, a Union soldier's widow, as a combined general store and hotel, called The Wing Hotel, the Inn flourished until its closure in 1947, when it became a mix of residence and business with a post office and brothel on the ground floor. A proposal to designate the building known as the Bayard Country Store, as an historical landmark failed in December, 2001, when the owner wished to sell the building and protested its designation. In order to pass the building under owner protest, Jacksonville's Historic Preservation Commission would have had to find that the building sufficiently met the city's criterion, but it did not, although it did find that the building was a "significant reminder" of the city's heritage and was worthy of preservation; the Bayard Inn was demolished in 2005, but other significant buildings—including the public school reserved for use by black children—still remain.
As commercial use in Bayard has waned and Jacksonville is expanding towards Bayard, the City of Jacksonville, with input from the Bayard community, has developed The Bayard Community Plan to maintain the character of the original community, while still allowing growth. As of January 2009, the plan, proposed on April 2007 with accompanying "Smartcode Development Regulations" on September 2007, was before the Land Use & Zoning Committee. Bayard Master Plan, City of Jacksonville
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party; the Democrats' dominant worldview was once social conservatism and economic liberalism, while populism was its leading characteristic in the rural South. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt ran as a third-party candidate in the Progressive Party, beginning a switch of political platforms between the Democratic and Republican Party over the coming decades, leading to Woodrow Wilson being elected as the first fiscally progressive Democrat. Since Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal coalition in the 1930s, the Democratic Party has promoted a social liberal platform, supporting social justice. Well into the 20th century, the party had conservative pro-business and Southern conservative-populist anti-business wings.
The New Deal Coalition of 1932–1964 attracted strong support from voters of recent European extraction—many of whom were Catholics based in the cities. After Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal of the 1930s, the pro-business wing withered outside the South. After the racial turmoil of the 1960s, most Southern whites and many Northern Catholics moved into the Republican Party at the presidential level; the once-powerful labor union element became less supportive after the 1970s. White Evangelicals and Southerners became Republican at the state and local level since the 1990s. People living in metropolitan areas, women and gender minorities, college graduates, racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, such as Jewish Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans and African Americans, tend to support the Democratic Party much more than they support the rival Republican Party; the Democratic Party's philosophy of modern liberalism advocates social and economic equality, along with the welfare state.
It seeks to provide government regulation in the economy. These interventions, such as the introduction of social programs, support for labor unions, affordable college tuitions, moves toward universal health care and equal opportunity, consumer protection and environmental protection form the core of the party's economic policy. Fifteen Democrats have served as President of the United States; the first was President Andrew Jackson, the seventh president and served from 1829 to 1837. The most recent was President Barack Obama, the 44th president and held office from 2009 to 2017. Following the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats held a majority in the House of Representatives, "trifectas" in 14 states, the mayoralty of numerous major American cities, such as Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Portland and Washington, D. C. Twenty-three state governors were Democrats, the Party was the minority party in the Senate and in most state legislatures; as of March 2019, four of the nine Justices of the Supreme Court had been appointed by Democratic presidents.
Democratic Party officials trace its origins to the inspiration of the Democratic-Republican Party, founded by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and other influential opponents of the Federalists in 1792. That party inspired the Whigs and modern Republicans. Organizationally, the modern Democratic Party arose in the 1830s with the election of Andrew Jackson. Since the nomination of William Jennings Bryan in 1896, the party has positioned itself to the left of the Republican Party on economic issues, they have been more liberal on civil rights issues since 1948. On foreign policy, both parties have changed position several times; the Democratic Party evolved from the Jeffersonian Republican or Democratic-Republican Party organized by Jefferson and Madison in opposition to the Federalist Party of Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. The party favored republicanism; the Democratic-Republican Party came to power in the election of 1800. After the War of 1812, the Federalists disappeared and the only national political party left was the Democratic-Republicans.
The era of one-party rule in the United States, known as the Era of Good Feelings, lasted from 1816 until the early 1830s, when the Whig Party became a national political group to rival the Democratic-Republicans. However, the Democratic-Republican Party still had its own internal factions, they split over the choice of a successor to President James Monroe and the party faction that supported many of the old Jeffersonian principles, led by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, became the modern Democratic Party. As Norton explains the transformation in 1828: Jacksonians believed the people's will had prevailed. Through a lavishly financed coalition of state parties, political leaders, newspaper editors, a popular movement had elected the president; the Democrats became the nation's first well-organized national party and tight party organization became the hallmark of nineteenth-century American politics. Opposing factions led by Henry Clay helped form the Whig Party; the Democratic Party had a small yet decisive advantage over the Whigs until the 1850s, when the Whigs fell apart over the issue of slavery.
In 1854, angry with the Kansas–Nebraska Act, anti-slavery Dem
Florida is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd-most extensive, the 3rd-most populous, the 8th-most densely populated of the U. S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States; the Miami metropolitan area is Florida's most populous urban area. Tallahassee is the state's capital. Florida's $1.0 trillion economy is the fourth largest in the United States. If it were a country, Florida would be the 16th largest economy in the world, the 58th most populous as of 2018. In 2017, Florida's per capita personal income was ranking 26th in the nation; the unemployment rate in September 2018 was 3.5% and ranked as the 18th in the United States. Florida exports nearly $55 billion in goods made in the 8th highest among all states.
The Miami Metropolitan Area is by far the largest urban economy in Florida and the 12th largest in the United States with a GDP of $344.9 billion as of 2017. This is more than twice the number of the next metro area, the Tampa Bay Area, which has a GDP of $145.3 billion. Florida is home to 51 of the world's billionaires with most of them residing in South Florida; the first European contact was made in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who called it la Florida upon landing there in the Easter season, known in Spanish as Pascua Florida. Florida was a challenge for the European colonial powers before it gained statehood in the United States in 1845, it was a principal location of the Seminole Wars against the Native Americans, racial segregation after the American Civil War. Today, Florida is distinctive for its large Cuban expatriate community and high population growth, as well as for its increasing environmental issues; the state's economy relies on tourism and transportation, which developed in the late 19th century.
Florida is renowned for amusement parks, orange crops, winter vegetables, the Kennedy Space Center, as a popular destination for retirees. Florida is the flattest state in the United States. Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in the U. S. state of Florida. Florida's close proximity to the ocean influences many aspects of daily life. Florida is a reflection of multiple inheritance. Florida has attracted many writers such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, continues to attract celebrities and athletes, it is internationally known for golf, auto racing, water sports. Several beaches in Florida have emerald-colored coastal waters. About two-thirds of Florida occupies a peninsula between the Gulf of the Atlantic Ocean. Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States 1,350 miles, not including the contribution of the many barrier islands. Florida has a total of 4,510 islands; this is the second-highest number of islands of any state of the United States.
It is the only state that borders both the Gulf of the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the state is characterized by sedimentary soil. Florida has the lowest high point of any U. S. state. The climate varies from subtropical in the north to tropical in the south; the American alligator, American crocodile, American flamingo, Roseate spoonbill, Florida panther, bottlenose dolphin, manatee can be found in Everglades National Park in the southern part of the state. Along with Hawaii, Florida is one of only two states that has a tropical climate, is the only continental state with either a tropical climate or a coral reef; the Florida Reef is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States, the third-largest coral barrier reef system in the world. By the 16th century, the earliest time for which there is a historical record, major Native American groups included the Apalachee of the Florida Panhandle, the Timucua of northern and central Florida, the Ais of the central Atlantic coast, the Tocobaga of the Tampa Bay area, the Calusa of southwest Florida and the Tequesta of the southeastern coast.
Florida was the first region of the continental United States to be visited and settled by Europeans. The earliest known European explorers came with the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León. Ponce de León spotted and landed on the peninsula on April 2, 1513, he named the region Florida. The story that he was searching for the Fountain of Youth is mythical and only appeared long after his death. In May 1539, Conquistador Hernando de Soto skirted the coast of Florida, searching for a deep harbor to land, he described seeing a thick wall of red mangroves spread mile after mile, some reaching as high as 70 feet, with intertwined and elevated roots making landing difficult. The Spanish introduced Christianity, horses, the Castilian language, more to Florida. Spain established several settlements with varying degrees of success. In 1559, Don Tristán de Luna y Arellano established a settlement at present-day Pensacola, making it the first attempted settlement in Florida, but it was abandoned by 1561.
In 1565, the settlement of St. Augustine was established under the leadership of admiral and
Brevard County, Florida
Brevard County is a county in the U. S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was the 10th most populated county in Florida; the official county seat has been located in Titusville since 1894. Brevard County comprises the FL Metropolitan Statistical Area, it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. With an economy influenced by the John F. Kennedy Space Center, Brevard County is known as the Space Coast; as such, it was designated with the telephone area code 321, as in 3-2-1 liftoff. The county is named after Theodore Washington Brevard, an early Florida settler and state comptroller. A secondary center of county administrative offices was built beginning in 1989 in Viera, Florida, a master planned community in an unincorporated area; the county offices were developed to serve the more populous southern part of the long county. The history of Brevard County begins with the prehistory of native cultures living in the area for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century.
The Windover Archeological Site, discovered in 1982, was found during excavation to have the largest collection of human remains and artifacts of the early Archaic Period, or more than 8,000 years before present. It has been designated as a National Historic Landmark; the geographic boundaries of the county have changed since its founding by European Americans in the 19th century. The county is named for an early settler and state comptroller. In federal maps printed before 2012, nearly half of Brevard was classified as prone to flooding. Most of this was in the undeveloped low-lying areas, west of Interstate 95, on the banks of the St. Johns River. About 18,900 homes out of 164,000 single-family homes were in that area. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,557 square miles, of which 1,016 square miles is land and 541 square miles is water. Most of the water is the St. Johns River and the Indian River Lagoon; the county is larger in area than the nation of Samoa and nearly the same size, population, as Cape Verde.
It is one-third the size of the state of Rhode Island. Located halfway between Jacksonville and Miami, Brevard County extends 72 miles from north to south, averages 26.5 miles wide. Marshes in the western part of this county are the source of the St. Johns River. Emphasizing its position as halfway down Florida are two roads that have been numbered halfway down Florida's numbering system, State Road 50 and State Road 500; the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway along the eastern edge of Brevard County is the major waterway route in Brevard County. It includes the Indian River. Additional waterways include Lake Washington, Lake Poinsett, Lake Winder, Sawgrass Lake, the St. Johns River, the Banana River. Dredging for the Intracoastal created 41 spoil islands in the Brevard portion of the Indian River. Brevard County is the sole county in the Palm Bay – Melbourne – Titusville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. There is no major urban center; the county is unofficially divided into three sections: North County, comprising Titusville and Port St. John.
The South Beaches is a term that measures direction south from the dividing line of Patrick Air Force Base, includes South Patrick Shores, Satellite Beach, Indian Harbour Beach and Melbourne Beach. The county government has labeled the beach areas differently; the North Reach includes 9.4 miles in Cocoa Beach. The Patrick Air Force Base beach is 4.1 miles. The Mid Reach includes the 7.6 miles in Satellite Beach. The South Reach includes the 3.8 miles in Melbourne Beach. The South Beaches include 14.5 miles south of Melbourne Beach to Sebastian. The United States Board on Geographic Names is considering two proposals to name the barrier island extending from Port Canaveral to Sebastian Inlet; the 45-mile-long island includes the cities of Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne Beach, Patrick Air Force Base, Indian Harbour Beach, Satellite Beach. The American Indian Association of Florida submitted in October 2011 a proposal to name the island after the Ais people. In January 2012 the United Third Bridge and the Florida Puerto Rican/Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Melbourne submitted a proposal to name the island after Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León.
The Board of Geographic Names takes at least eight months to decide on a new name for a geographical feature. There are 16 municipalities; the largest by population is the smallest Melbourne Village. The county has nine major canals; some of these, such as the C-1 and C-54, are 100 feet wide, giving them the capacity to handle excessive rainfall that may accompany tropical storms or hurricanes. The following are used for transportation and drainage: Canaveral Barge Canal, Courtenay – transportation Faulk Canal, Rockledge Grand Canal, Tropic Haulover Canal, Mims – transportation Melbourne Tillman Canal, Melbourne West – drainage Old Canal, Wilson C-1, maintained by the Melbourne-Tillman Water Control District C-54 Canal – on the south Brevard County Line – drainage L-15 Canal – Crane Creek Drainage District which has a watershed of about 12,000 acres (4,900
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state in the Southeastern United States. It began as a British colony in 1733, the last and southernmost of the original Thirteen Colonies to be established. Named after King George II of Great Britain, the Province of Georgia covered the area from South Carolina south to Spanish Florida and west to French Louisiana at the Mississippi River. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788. In 1802–1804, western Georgia was split to the Mississippi Territory, which split to form Alabama with part of former West Florida in 1819. Georgia declared its secession from the Union on January 19, 1861, was one of the original seven Confederate states, it was the last state to be restored to the Union, on July 15, 1870. Georgia is the 8th most populous of the 50 United States. From 2007 to 2008, 14 of Georgia's counties ranked among the nation's 100 fastest-growing, second only to Texas. Georgia is known as the Empire State of the South. Atlanta, the state's capital and most populous city, has been named a global city.
Atlanta's metropolitan area contains about 55% of the population of the entire state. Georgia is bordered to the north by Tennessee and North Carolina, to the northeast by South Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by Florida, to the west by Alabama; the state's northernmost part is in the Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountains system. The Piedmont extends through the central part of the state from the foothills of the Blue Ridge to the Fall Line, where the rivers cascade down in elevation to the coastal plain of the state's southern part. Georgia's highest point is Brasstown Bald at 4,784 feet above sea level. Of the states east of the Mississippi River, Georgia is the largest in land area. Before settlement by Europeans, Georgia was inhabited by the mound building cultures; the British colony of Georgia was founded by James Oglethorpe on February 12, 1733. The colony was administered by the Trustees for the Establishment of the Colony of Georgia in America under a charter issued by King George II.
The Trustees implemented an elaborate plan for the colony's settlement, known as the Oglethorpe Plan, which envisioned an agrarian society of yeoman farmers and prohibited slavery. The colony was invaded by the Spanish during the War of Jenkins' Ear. In 1752, after the government failed to renew subsidies that had helped support the colony, the Trustees turned over control to the crown. Georgia became a crown colony, with a governor appointed by the king; the Province of Georgia was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution by signing the 1776 Declaration of Independence. The State of Georgia's first constitution was ratified in February 1777. Georgia was the 10th state to ratify the Articles of Confederation on July 24, 1778, was the 4th state to ratify the United States Constitution on January 2, 1788. In 1829, gold was discovered in the North Georgia mountains leading to the Georgia Gold Rush and establishment of a federal mint in Dahlonega, which continued in operation until 1861.
The resulting influx of white settlers put pressure on the government to take land from the Cherokee Nation. In 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, sending many eastern Native American nations to reservations in present-day Oklahoma, including all of Georgia's tribes. Despite the Supreme Court's ruling in Worcester v. Georgia that U. S. states were not permitted to redraw Indian boundaries, President Jackson and the state of Georgia ignored the ruling. In 1838, his successor, Martin Van Buren, dispatched federal troops to gather the tribes and deport them west of the Mississippi; this forced relocation, known as the Trail of Tears, led to the death of over 4,000 Cherokees. In early 1861, Georgia became a major theater of the Civil War. Major battles took place at Chickamauga, Kennesaw Mountain, Atlanta. In December 1864, a large swath of the state from Atlanta to Savannah was destroyed during General William Tecumseh Sherman's March to the Sea. 18,253 Georgian soldiers died in service one of every five who served.
In 1870, following the Reconstruction Era, Georgia became the last Confederate state to be restored to the Union. With white Democrats having regained power in the state legislature, they passed a poll tax in 1877, which disenfranchised many poor blacks and whites, preventing them from registering. In 1908, the state established a white primary, they constituted 46.7% of the state's population in 1900, but the proportion of Georgia's population, African American dropped thereafter to 28% due to tens of thousands leaving the state during the Great Migration. According to the Equal Justice Institute's 2015 report on lynching in the United States, Georgia had 531 deaths, the second-highest total of these extralegal executions of any state in the South; the overwhelming number of victims were male. Political disfranchisement persisted through the mid-1960s, until after Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. An Atlanta-born Baptist minister, part of the educated middle class that had developed in Atlanta's African-American community, Martin Luther King, Jr. emerged as a national leader in the civil rights movement.
King joining with others to form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta in 1957 to provide political leadership for the Civil Rights Movement across the South. By the 1960s, the proportion of
Melbourne is a city in Brevard County, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 76,068; the municipality is the second-largest in the county by both population. Melbourne is a principal city of the Palm Bay – Melbourne – Titusville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 1969 the city was expanded by merging with nearby Eau Gallie. Evidence for the presence of Paleo-Indians in the Melbourne area during the late Pleistocene epoch was uncovered during the 1920s. C. P. Singleton, a Harvard University zoologist, discovered the bones of a mammoth on his property along Crane Creek, 1.5 miles from Melbourne, brought in Amherst College paleontologist Frederick B. Loomis to excavate the skeleton. Loomis found a second elephant, with a "large rough flint instrument" among fragments of the elephant's ribs. Loomis found in the same stratum mammoth, horse, ground sloth, peccary and saber-tooth cat bones, all extinct in Florida since the end of the Pleistocene 10,000 years ago. At a nearby site a human rib and charcoal were found in association with Mylodon and Chlamytherium teeth.
A finely worked spear point found with these items may have been displaced from a stratum. In 1925 attention shifted to the Melbourne golf course. A crushed human skull with finger and leg bones was found in association with a horse tooth. A piece of ivory that appeared to have been modified by humans was found at the bottom of the stratum containing bones. Other finds included a spear point near a mastodon bone and a turtle-back scraper and blade found with bear, mastodon and tapir bones. Similar human remains, Pleistocene animals and Paleo-Indian artifacts were found in Vero Beach, 30 miles south of Melbourne, similar Paleo-Indian artifacts were found at the Helen Blazes archaeological site, 10 miles southwest of Melbourne. After the Civil War, pioneer families arrived, Melbourne was founded in 1867; the first settlers arrived after 1877. They included Richard W. Goode, his father John Goode, Cornthwaite John Hector, Captain Peter Wright, Balaam Allen, Wright Brothers, Thomas Mason. Three of these men, Wright and Brothers were black freedmen.
The city called "Crane Creek", was named Melbourne in honor of its first postmaster, Cornthwaite John Hector, an Englishman who had spent much of his life in Melbourne, Australia. He is buried in the Melbourne Cemetery, along with many early residents in the area; the first school in Melbourne was built in 1883 and is on permanent exhibit on the campus of Florida Institute of Technology. By 1885, the town had 70 people; the Greater Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church is still active. In the late 1890s, the Brownlie-Maxwell Funeral Home opened and it is still in business; the oldest black-owned business in the county is Tucker's Cut-Rate plumbing. It opened in 1934. In the early 1900s, houses were built in the frame vernacular style. In 1919, a fire destroyed most of the original downtown along Front Street. At the time, it was rebuilt west of US Hwy 1. During the Jim Crow years, black people were required to enter movie theaters via a different entrance from whites and sit in the balcony.
Gas stations had signs for rest rooms labeled "Men", "Women", "Colored." This persisted until integration in the late 1960s. In late 1942 the Naval Air Station Melbourne was established as a site to train newly commissioned Navy and Marine pilots for World War II; the program ran until 1946, the land, used for that program makes up most of what is the Orlando Melbourne International Airport. In 1969, the cities of Eau Gallie and Melbourne voted forming modern-day Melbourne. In the 1950s, Babcock Street was extended north to intersect with US 1; the Melbourne Shopping Center was constructed on the area's first strip mall. Consumers were sufficiently attracted to this new mall, that the traditional downtown, off New Haven, suffered. Urban blight was attacked there in the 1980s. A board was created by the legislature to spend a 10% tax on electric bills; this was used by the Melbourne Civic Improvement Board to build the Melbourne Auditorium, the first library and fire station, various parks. The board was dissolved when Melbourne was merged with Eau Gallie in 1969.
That merger doubled the size of Melbourne. Streetlights were added until, by the early 1960s, streets east of Babcock Street had lights. Lights were added to streets west of Babcock after the early 1960s. In 1969, the city elected its first black councilman. Mr. Montgomery was the first African American student of Brevard Engineering College Florida Institute of Technology which named their Pioneer Award after him. Mr. Montgomery was the first African American Professional hired by NASA at the Kennedy Space Center in 1956, his accomplishments are recounted in the chapter A Man of Firsts in the book We Could Not Fail by Richard Paul and Steven Moss. On August 2, 1995, the city received a record 9.06 inches of rainfall from Hurricane Erin. During the week of August 22, 2008, a record 17.54 inches of rain fell caused by Tropical Storm Fay. A 2009 Halloween street party sponsored by a downtown restaurant attracted an estimated 8,000–10,000 people; this overwhelmed the downtown area. Street parties were curtailed.
On 18 February 2017, president Donald J. Trump held his first post-inauguration rally at the Orlando-Melbourne International drawing a crowd of 9,000. Melbourne is located 60 miles southeast of Orlando on the Space Coast, along Interstate 95, it is midway between Jacksonville and Miami. According to the United
Florida House of Representatives
The Florida House of Representatives is the lower house of the Florida Legislature, the state legislature of the U. S. state of Florida, the Florida Senate being the upper house. Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution of Florida, adopted in 1968, defines the role of the Legislature and how it is to be constituted; the House is composed of 120 members, each elected from a single-member district with a population of 157,000 residents. Legislative districts are drawn on the basis of population figures, provided by the federal decennial census. Senators' terms begin upon their election; as of 2019, Republicans hold the majority in the State House with 71 seats. Three seats are vacant due to resignations. Members of the House of Representatives are referred to as Representatives; because this shadows the terminology used to describe members of U. S. House of Representatives and the news media, using The Associated Press Stylebook refer to members as State Representatives to avoid confusion with their Federal counterparts.
Article III of the Florida Constitution defines the terms for State Legislators. The Constitution requires State Representatives to be elected for two-year terms. Upon election, legislators take office immediately. On November 3, 1992 77 percent of Florida voters backed Amendment 9, the Florida Term Limits Amendment, which amended the State Constitution, to enact eight-year term limits on federal and state officials. Under the Amendment, former members can be elected again after a break. In 1995, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not enact congressional term limits, but ruled that the state level term limits remain; each legislator shall be at least 21 years of age, an elector and resident of the District from which elected and shall have resided in the state for a period of two years prior to election. Each year during which the Legislature meets constitutes a new Legislative Session. Legislators start Committee activity in September of the year prior to the Regular Legislative Session.
Because Florida is a part-time legislature, this is necessary to allow legislators time to work their bills through the Committee process, prior to the Regular Legislative Session. The Florida Legislature meets in a 60-day Regular Legislative Session each year. Regular Legislative Sessions in odd-numbered years must begin on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March. Under the State Constitution, the Legislature can begin even-numbered year Regular Legislative Sessions at a time of its choosing. Prior to 1991, the Regular Legislative Session began in April. Senate Joint Resolution 380 proposed to the voters a Constitutional Amendment that shifted the starting date of Regular Legislative Session from April to February. Subsequently, Senate Joint Resolution 2606 proposed to the voters a Constitutional Amendment shifting the start date to March, where it remains; the reason for the "first Tuesday after the first Monday" requirement stems back to the time when Regular Legislative Session began in April.
Regular Legislative Session could start any day from April 2 through April 8, but never on April 1 – April Fool's Day. In recent years, the Legislature has opted to start in January in order to allow lawmakers to be home with their families during school spring breaks, to give more time ahead of the legislative elections in the Fall. On the fourteenth day following each General Election, the Legislature meets for an Organizational Session to organize and select officers. Special Legislative Sessions may be called by the Governor, by a joint proclamation of the Senate President and House Speaker, or by a three-fifths vote of all Legislators. During any Special Session the Legislature may only address legislative business, within the purview of the purpose or purposes stated in the Special Session Proclamation; the Florida House is authorized by the Florida Constitution to create and amend the laws of the U. S. state of Florida, subject to the Governor's power to veto legislation. To do so, Legislators propose legislation in the forms of bills drafted by a nonpartisan, professional staff.
Successful legislation must undergo Committee review, three readings on the floor of each house, with appropriate voting majorities, as required, either be signed into law by the Governor or enacted through a veto override approved by two-thirds of the membership of each legislative house. Its statutes, called "chapter laws" or generically as "slip laws" when printed separately, are compiled into the Laws of Florida and are called "session laws"; the Florida Statutes are the codified statutory laws of the state. In 2009, legislators filed 2,138 bills for consideration. On average, the Legislature has passed about 300 bills into law annually. In 2013, the Legislature filed about 2000 bills. About 1000 of these are "member bills." The remainder are bills by committees responsible for certain functions, such as budget. In 2016, about 15% of the bills were passed. In 2017, 1,885 lobbyists registered to represent 3,724 entities; the House has the power to propose Amendments to the Florida Constitution.
Additionally, the House has the exclusive power to impeach officials, who are tried by the Senate. The House is headed by a speaker, elected by the members of the House to a two-year term; the speaker presides over the House, appoints committee members and committee chairs, influences the placement of bills on the calendar, rules on procedural motions. The speaker pro tempore presides if there is a vacancy; the speaker, along with the Senate president and governor of Florida, control most of the agenda of state business in Florida. The majority and minority caucus each elect a le