Florida Senate

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Florida Senate
2014-16 Florida Legislature
Coat of arms or logo
Term limits
2 terms (8 years)
Founded January 7, 1839
Preceded by Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida
New session started
January 12, 2016
Andy Gardiner (R)
Since November 18, 2014
President pro tempore
Garrett Richter (R)
Since November 20, 2012
Majority Leader
Bill Galvano (R)
Since November 18, 2014
Minority Leader
Arthenia Joyner (D)
Since November 18, 2014
Seats 40
Senate diagram 2014 State of Florida.svg
Political groups
Length of term
4 years
Authority Article III, Florida Constitution
Salary $29,697/year + per diem
Last election
November 4, 2014
(20 seats)
Next election
November 8, 2016
(40 seats)
Redistricting Legislative Control
In God We Trust
Meeting place
File:Florida Senate Chamber.jpg
Senate Chamber
Florida Capitol
Tallahassee, Florida
Florida Senate
Seal of Florida.svg
This article is part of a series on the
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The Florida Senate is the upper house of the legislature of the U.S. state of Florida. Along with the House of Representatives, it comprises the Florida Legislature. The Senate has 40 members, each elected from a single-member district with a population of about 470,000. The Senate meets at the State Capitol in Tallahassee.

Senators generally serve four-year terms and are restricted by term limits, barring them from running for re-election if they have served in office for the past eight consecutive years. This ordinarily limits senators to two four-year terms.

The Florida Constitution establishes the legislature’s powers and duties, which include passing laws, developing an annual state budget, and making investigations. Additionally, the Senate has the exclusive power to try officials impeached by the House, and to confirm some executive appointments.

The Senate has its origins in Florida’s territorial period, when the Florida Territorial Council was made bicameral in 1838.

Terms, qualification and districts

The Florida Constitution requires state senators to be elected to staggered, four-year terms.[1] Senators in odd-numbered districts are elected in U.S. presidential election years, while senators in even-numbered districts are elected in midterm election years. However, to reflect the results of the U.S. Census and the redrawing of district boundaries, all seats are up for election in redistricting years, with some terms truncated as a result. Thus, senators in even-numbered districts were elected to two-year terms in 2012 (following the 2010 Census), and senators in odd-numbered districts will be elected to two-year terms in 2022 (following the 2020 Census).

State senators must be at least 21 years of age, an elector and resident of their electoral district, and a Florida resident for at least two years prior to election.[1] They take office upon election.[1]

Powers and process

The Florida Constitution authorizes the state legislature to create and amend the laws of the U.S. state of Florida.[1] State senators propose legislation in the forms of bills drafted by a nonpartisan, professional staff.[2] Successful legislation must undergo committee review, three readings on the floor of each house, with appropriate voting majorities, as required, and 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.[2]

The entire Florida Legislature meets every year in a session beginning on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March and lasting 60 calendar days. [3] Special sessions may be called either by the governor or by the leaders of both chambers acting jointly.


Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Republican Democratic Vacant
End of previous legislature 25 14 39 1
Begin (November 2014) 26 14 40 0
November 10, 2014[4] 25 39 1
April 7, 2015[5] 26 40 0
Latest voting share 65% 35%


Position Name Party District
President of the Senate Andy Gardiner Republican 13
President pro tempore Garrett Richter Republican 23
Majority Leader Bill Galvano Republican 26
Minority Leader Arthenia Joyner Democratic 19
Minority Leader pro tempore Oscar Braynon Democratic 36

Members, 2014–2016

District Name Party Residence Counties represented First elected[6] Term up[7]
1 Don Gaetz Rep Niceville Bay, Holmes, Jackson, Walton Washington, part of Okaloosa 2006 2016
2 Greg Evers Rep Baker Escambia, Santa Rosa, part of Okaloosa 2010 2016
3 Bill Montford Dem Tallahassee Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Hamilton, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla 2010 2016
4 Aaron Bean Rep Fernandina Beach Nassau, part of Duval 2012 2016
5 Charles S. Dean, Sr. Rep Inverness Baker, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Lafayette, Levy, Suwannee, Union, part of Marion 2007 2016
6 Travis Hutson Rep St. Augustine Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns, part of Volusia 2015 2016
7 Rob Bradley Rep Fleming Island Alachua, Bradford, Clay 2012 2016
8 Dorothy Hukill Rep Port Orange Parts of Lake, Marion and Volusia 2012 2016
9 Audrey Gibson Dem Jacksonville Part of Duval 2011 2016
10 David H. Simmons Rep Altamonte Springs Seminole, part of Volusia 2010 2016
11 Alan Hays Rep Umatilla Parts of Lake, Marion, Orange and Sumter 2010 2016
12 Geraldine Thompson Dem Orlando Part of Orange 2012 2016
13 Andy Gardiner Rep Orlando Parts of Brevard and Orange 2008 2016
14 Darren Soto Dem Orlando Parts of Orange, Osceola, Polk 2012 2016
15 Kelli Stargel Rep Lakeland Parts of Orange, Osceola, Polk 2012 2016
16 Thad Altman Rep Rockledge Parts of Brevard and Indian River 2008 2016
17 John Legg Rep Port Richey Parts of Hillsborough and Pasco 2012 2016
18 Wilton Simpson Rep Trilby Hernando, parts of Pasco and Sumter 2012 2016
19 Arthenia Joyner Dem Tampa Parts of Hillsborough, Manatee and Pinellas 2006 2016
20 Jack Latvala Rep Clearwater Part of Pinellas 2010 2016
21 Denise Grimsley Rep Sebring Okeechobee, parts of Highlands, Martin, Osceola, Polk, and St. Lucie 2012 2016
22 Jeff Brandes Rep St. Petersburg Parts of Hillsborough and Pinellas 2012 2016
23 Garrett Richter Rep Naples Parts of Collier and Lee 2008 2016
24 Tom Lee Rep Brandon Part of Hillsborough 2012 2016
25 Joseph Abruzzo Dem Wellington Part of Palm Beach 2012 2016
26 Bill Galvano Rep Bradenton DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, and parts of Charlotte, Highlands, Hillsborough, and Manatee 2012 2016
27 Jeff Clemens Dem Lake Worth Part of Palm Beach 2012 2016
28 Nancy Detert Rep Venice Sarasota, part of Charlotte 2008 2016
29 Jeremy Ring Dem Parkland Part of Broward 2006 2016
30 Lizbeth Benacquisto Rep Fort Myers Parts of Charlotte and Lee 2010 2016
31 Chris Smith Dem Fort Lauderdale Part of Broward 2008 2016
32 Joe Negron Rep Stuart Parts of Indian River, Martin, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie 2009 2016
33 Eleanor Sobel Dem Hollywood Part of Broward 2008 2016
34 Maria Sachs Dem Delray Beach Parts of Broward and Palm Beach 2010 2016
35 Gwen Margolis Dem Miami Beach Part of Miami-Dade 2010 2016
36 Oscar Braynon Dem Miami Gardens Parts of Miami-Dade and Broward 2011 2016
37 Anitere Flores Rep Miami Part of Miami-Dade 2010 2016
38 René García Rep Hialeah Part of Miami-Dade 2010 2016
39 Dwight Bullard Dem Miami Hendry, Monroe, parts of Collier and Miami-Dade 2012 2016
40 Miguel Díaz de la Portilla Rep Coral Gables Part of Miami-Dade 2010 2016

District map

File:Florida Senate 2012.svg
Current districts and party composition of the Florida Senate
  Democratic Party
  Republican Party

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Florida Constitution Online (accessed January 4, 2015)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Senate Handbook, 2012-2014, Florida Senate (accessed May 22, 2013)
  3. Florida Senate (accessed May 22, 2013)
  4. Republican John Thrasher (District 6) resigned to become president of Florida State University. [1]
  5. Republican Travis Hutson elected to fill Thrasher's seat. [2]
  6. Year first elected to their current time in office. Members may have previously served other, non-consecutive stints.
  7. Due to mid-decade redistricting resulting from a lawsuit, all Senate seats will be up at the 2016 general election. [3]

External links