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Fla. lawmaker questions legislators residency requirements

The Florida Capitol
Posted at 6:04 PM, Jul 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-25 14:41:56-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL)--Florida's residency policy for lawmakers is now under review after one senator says he's heard complaints from residents. The question now on the table should your representative live in the district they represent.

Come September, lawmakers will be back at work meeting in committees here at the Capitol.

But, republican senator Jack Latvala is raising new questions wanting to know whether certain state leaders actually live in the district they represent.

Latvala sent this letter to Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford asking them to look closer at the legislature's residency policy.

In his letter Latavala calls out six democratic members who he says may not live in their districts. He wants to know if they're violating the state's constitution.

Samantha Jennings says even if it is the case, she has no problem if her elected lawmaker doesn't "live" in the district just long as they're at least involved.

"I don't think its necessarily an absolute necessity for them to live inside their district as long as they keep in touch with those people that they represent," said Jennings.

Others say it does matter.

"They need to be living within the districts, if they're not living within the districts they can't relate to the people from that area," said David Drake.

"I don't think making it a legality that you have to have someone from it will end up making it any better represented," said Jennings.

Gaetz and Weatherford's letter says they are asking the general counsels of the house and senate to recommend appropriate standards for residency.