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Corinne Mixon, Lobbyist, Florida Mental Health Counselors Association

The 2014 Florida Legislative Session begins on March 4th. The legislature will convene for 60 days for the purpose of amending Florida statutes, but the web of procedures leading up to the legislative session begins long before March 4th. It starts now.

The legislative session is commonly referred to as a time for “bills” to become “law.” Consider the preceding committee process the time that ideas become bills.

To understand the importance of the committee timeline, one must first see a ‘snapshot’ of Florida’s legislative procedure in its entirety. A member of the Florida House of Representatives sponsors a bill, which is referred to committees related to the bill's subject, averaging between two and five. The committee analyzes the bill and decides if it should be amended, pass, or fail. If passed, the bill moves to the next committee of reference.

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