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Senate President Tom Lee and House Speaker Allan Bense call the Legislature into Special Session

December 3, 2004
Source:  The Florida Legislature

TALLAHASSEE - Recognizing the need to address specific issues prior to the 2005 Regular Legislative Session in March, Senate President Tom Lee and House Speaker Allan Bense, today, released a joint call for a Special Legislative Session. 

The call includes a limited agenda that focuses on the issues of Voluntary Universal Pre-K; critical state needs related to the natural disasters that occurred this hurricane season including Tax Relief for residential owners, Multiple Deductibles for Hurricane Claims, Beach and Dune Renourishment, School Construction, and Citrus Canker Eradication.  The call will also include two issues requiring the immediate attention of state policy makers: funding for the Department of Juvenile Justice and licensing for the Discount Medical Plan Organizations. 

“Our first priority remains passing a bill establishing a Voluntary Pre-K Education Program in Florida.  In less than 9 months, we will open the school doors for what could be 100,000 young children. We must be ready with qualified teachers, a solid curriculum, and a good learning environment for children and parents who are expecting these services in August.” said President Lee. 

Speaker Bense added, “The members of the Florida House and Senate have identified several issues that must be addressed before March, particularly financial needs resulting from the four major hurricanes that hit Florida this summer. As families are putting back together the pieces of their lives, the Legislature will work hard to provide relief for some of the burdensome costs associated with their recovery.” 

The Special Session will commence on Monday, December 13, 2004, and is expected to last until Friday, December 17, 2004.  The call may be viewed on the Senate and House websites at: www.flsenate.gov or www.myfloridahouse.gov.


 THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE
JOINT PROCLAMATION

TO THE HONORABLE MEMBERS OF THE FLORIDA SENATE AND THE FLORIDA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

We, Tom Lee, President of the Florida Senate, and Allan G. Bense, Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, by virtue of the authority vested in us by Article III, Section 3(c), Florida Constitution, and Section 11.011, Florida Statutes, do hereby proclaim: 

1. That the Legislature of the State of Florida is convened in Special Session pursuant to Article III, Section 3(c), Florida Constitution, and Section 11.011, Florida Statutes, at the Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, the 13th day of December 2004, for a period of 5 days, ending at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, the 17th day of December, 2004.

2. That the Legislature is convened for the sole and exclusive purpose of considering the following:

a. Legislation addressing the topics raised in the Governor’s July 9, 2004 veto message relating to the Voluntary Pre-kindergarten Education Program enacted as House Bill 821 during the 2004 regular session of the Florida Legislature. 

b. Legislation addressing the operation of juvenile detention facilities for fiscal year 2004-05 and the funding responsibility of the counties as provided for in Senate Bill 2564 (2004). 

c. Legislation extending the effective date of the requirement for licensure of Discount Medical Plan Organizations contained in §636.204, F.S., as created by Section 31 of Chapter 2004-297, Laws of Florida. 

d. Legislation providing for the tax relief of hurricane victims whose primary residence was destroyed or damaged and rendered uninhabitable by a 2004 named hurricane or tropical storm. 

e. Legislation providing for the compensation and relief of insured policyholders of residential property insurance for the cost of multiple deductibles for damage to insured residential property in Florida, arising out of two or more year 2004 named hurricanes.

f. Legislation amending the Florida Insurance Code to address imposition of the deductible for insured future losses sustained to property due to damage associated with a named hurricane. 

g. Legislation appropriating funds for loans to school districts awaiting FEMA reimbursements to accelerate the rebuilding of public school facilities damaged or destroyed by a named hurricane or tropical storm during the 2004 hurricane season. 

h. Legislation providing for the restoration of the state’s Beach and Dune System damaged by a named hurricane or tropical storm during the 2004 hurricane season, and for related administrative support. 

i. Legislation providing for canker eradication efforts by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, compensation for property owners for destroyed or damaged citrus crops, for completing a soybean rust survey and eradication effort, and for the Caribbean Fruit Fly Certification Program. 

j. Legislation providing for the Department of Elder Affairs, the Department of Children and Families, and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, to support 2004 named hurricane and tropical storm relief efforts from federal funds. 

k. Legislation providing for the Department of Community Affairs to match FEMA funding for the Other Needs Assistance (ONA) grants for 2004 named hurricane and tropical storm relief efforts. 

l. Legislation to administer the Public Assistance Program and to provide grant assistance for the repair, replacement, or restoration of publicly owned facilities that incurred losses associated with the 2004 named hurricanes or tropical storms.

m. Legislation to administer the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and to provide assistance through such program to local governments for relief efforts resulting from a 2004 named hurricane or tropical storm. 

n. Legislation providing for the Agency for Workforce Innovation to assist workers displaced by a 2004 named hurricane or tropical storm.


Tom Lee
President
The Florida Senate

December 3, 2004   

Allan G. Bense
Speaker
The Florida House of Representatives

December 3, 2004