The Florida State Legislature is has a bicameral state legislature with an upper house, the Florida Senate, and a lower house, the Florida House of Representatives. House members may be elected for up to four terms (eight years), and State Senators can be elected for up to two terms (eight years). The two houses convene within the Florida State Capitol complex in Tallahassee.
The Florida Legislature has 60 day regular sessions annually with the possibility of special sessions as needed. Special sessions may be called either by the Governor or by the leaders of both chambers acting jointly.
The Florida Senate is the upper house of the Florida State Legislature. There are 40 members in the senate. Generally, Senators in odd-numbered districts are elected in years divisible by four (in tandem with U.S. Presidential elections,) and Senators in even numbered districts are elected alongside elections for Florida’s statewide offices. In years ending in the digit 2, all Senators are up for re-election. Thus, odd-number district Senators were elected to two-year terms in 2002, and even-number district Senators will be elected to two-year terms in 2012.
The Florida House of Representatives is the lower house of the Florida State Legislature. It is composed of 120 members, each representing a district. Representatives are elected to two year terms during even-numbered years. A representative must be at least 21 years of age, a resident of the district in which he or she will serve, and a resident of Florida for at least two years preceding their election. The Speaker of the House is elected by the representatives for a two-year term. The Speaker has the power to preside over the chamber during a session, to appoint committee members and chairs of committees, to influence the placement of bills on the calendar, and to rule on procedural motions. In the absence of the Speaker, the Speaker pro tempore presides over the House.