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Flowers decorate the desks of legislators at the start of session Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, in the Florida House of Representatives in Tallahassee, Fla. The Florida Legislature convened today for its annual 60-day session. (Phil Sears/For SaintPetersBlog)


Some lawmakers bowing out of Special Session

(Originally published Tuesday, June 6, 2017)

At least eight House members and one senator won’t be attending some or all of this week’s Special Session, set for Wednesday-Friday. 

The June meeting is conflicting with some lawmakers’ plans, including one whose brother is getting married out of state.

Below is a list, as of Tuesday afternoon, of lawmakers asking for and receiving excused absences for part or all of the three-day session, with reasons given:

— Rep. Bruce Antone, an Orlando Democrat, excused Wednesday for a “previously scheduled commitment.”

— Rep. Larry Lee Jr., a Port St. Lucie Democrat, excused Friday to host an annual “Restoring the Village” community event “that was planned a year in advance.” (As of Wednesday evening, Lee told he had later decided to pass on attending the event during the Special Session, and instead planned on being in Tallahassee all three days.) 

— Rep. Alex Miller, a Sarasota Republican, excused all three days as she recovers from surgery.

— Rep. Mike Miller, a Winter Park Republican, excused Wednesday and Thursday because he’s “out of the country.”

— Rep. Cary Pigman, an Avon Park Republican, excused Friday morning for a “prior engagement.”

— Rep. Scott Plakon, a Longwood Republican, excused Friday because of “previous commitments.”

— Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, an Orlando Democrat, excused Wednesday and Thursday because he’ll be in Washington, D.C. with a Pulse nightclub shooting survivor speaking to members of Congress, and then attending the unveiling of a mural at the University of Central Florida commemorating Pulse victims, survivors and first responders.

— Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, a Mount Dora Republican, excused all three days because her “brother is getting married in Arkansas.”

— Sen. Dorothy Hukill, a Port Orange Republican, excused all three days as she continues to recover from cancer treatment and surgery.

We’ll add any more names as we receive them.

Updated Wednesday: 

— Rep. Joe AbruzzoBoynton Beach Democrat, excused Wednesday because of a “previously scheduled conflict in my district.”

Written By

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at

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