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New Fla. Lawmaker Residency Rules Headed For Full Vote

Florida Senate

A bill giving guideposts for determining whether Florida lawmakers live in their districts is headed for the full Legislature after passing its committee Wednesday. The bill gives the Senate final say when allegations arise that someone lives outside their district.

Clarifying what it means to live in one’s district has been a priority for Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater), who last month said he suspects as many as 16 lawmakers are shirking the rules. Latvala thanked the Senate Rules Committee for the bill’s unanimous passage.

“This will go a long way in giving some guidance to members of the Legislature on how they’re supposed to conduct themselves and where they’re supposed to live and how to determine where their real residence is for anybody who has a hard time figuring that out," Latvala said.

The guidelines include where the lawmaker’s spouse and children live and where their driver’s license is registered.

Rules Chairman John Thrasher says the proposed joint rule will be presented on the first day of session.

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