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FL Senate leaders order rare Saturday floor session

FL Senate leaders order rare Saturday floor session to debate arming teachers
FL Senate leaders order rare Saturday floor session to debate arming teachers
Posted at 3:52 PM, Mar 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-02 12:45:51-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (News Service)- Friday, Florida Senate leaders ordered a rare Saturday floor session to begin debate on a measure that has become mired in controversy over allowing armed teachers.

The Saturday session is planned as House and Senate leaders race against the clock to reach consensus on a bill before the annual legislative session ends on Mar. 9.

Senate President Joe Negron sent out a memo Friday morning announcing the Saturday floor session, saying the bill's sponsor wanted additional time to work on this important issue.

The Senate had been expected to take up the bill Friday.

"We have lots of very different backgrounds in our state. So, it looks like it might be taking us a little bit of time to make sure that we find that balance," State Senator Anitere Flores said. "But we'll get it right and we'll have a response to the tragedy in Parkland."

Orlando Democrat Linda Stewart has filed an amendment to the bill that would ban assault-style rifles in Florida.

She hopes the delay means legislative leadership is listening to many outspoken groups along with Governor Rick Scott, who say allowing teachers to carry guns is a bad idea.

"I know what the citizens of Florida would like to see happen," Stewart said. "And whether we can get to where they would like us to be is totally a different thing."

Delaying consideration of the measure until next week would affect the House's ability to hear the Senate bill because of procedural reasons.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran has said his chamber will wait until the Senate acts on its proposal before taking up the issue.