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Tally shows early GOP opposition to Special Session

Early polling shows many Republican lawmakers don’t support a Democratic proposal to return to Tallahassee this summer for a special session to address public-school funding.

The Department of State on Monday released results from lawmakers who had responded to a poll on a special-session request by Rep. Shevrin Jones, a West Park Democrat, and Miami Democratic Rep. Nicholas Duran.

As of 4:30 p.m. Monday, 27 House members had voted in favor of a special session, while 36 had voted against the idea.

Three-fifths of the members of each Republican-dominated chamber must support the request for a special session to be held. For the House, that means support from at least 70 of the current 117 members. The Senate needs 23 yes votes from the current 39 members.

Republicans Reps. Julio Gonzalez of Venice and Kathleen Peters of Treasure Island have joined House Democrats in supporting the proposal.

With just 13 members of the Senate responding as of Monday afternoon, the tally was seven Democrats for the special session and six Republicans opposed, with the opponents including Senate President Joe Negron, a Stuart Republican, and incoming President Bill Galvano, of Bradenton.

The polling is one of two ways lawmakers can spur a special session. The other is for the Senate president and House speaker to jointly call for lawmakers to return to Tallahassee.

Lawmakers have until noon Thursday to respond to the poll.

The News Service of Florida provides journalists, lobbyists, government officials and other civic leaders with comprehensive, objective information about the activities of state government year-round.

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