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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Senate President Franco Luis Announced Senate Will Meet In Person This Summer

There will be no hybrid option for senators to attend over Zoom

This article has been updated to reflect that the cancelation of Tuesday’s meeting as well as the attempt to hold meetings virtually at the start of the semester did not violate SG codes. The Alligator previously reported otherwise.

Senate President Franco Luis canceled Senate’s second meeting of the Summer semester and announced the Senate will be meeting in person starting May 25. 

The meeting was canceled because it was not announced on the SG event page in time, Luis wrote. He cited codes stating the Senate president may cancel a meeting if it wasn’t properly noticed. 

Tuesday was the second time in two weeks Senate was not able to meet, after the first Senate meeting last week could not begin due to an insufficient amount of senators present.

This Summer’s Senate roster consists of 58 members, meaning there currently are 42 vacant seats and enough senators available to attain quorum. 

In order for a Senate meeting to meet quorum and proceed, there must be 51 senators present. However, the small number of senators may make it difficult to meet quorum in future in-person meetings, as only eight may be absent in order for meetings to proceed.

In the same email sent to all senators, Luis announced a transition to in-person Senate meetings starting Tuesday. 

“There will be no hybrid option for Senators to continue meeting on Zoom,” he wrote. “All business will be conducted in person.”

The decision followed Gov. Ron DeSantis’ announcement lifting Florida’s COVID-19 state of emergency.

Now, an order to hold Senate meetings in person over Summer leaves it unclear where and how senators will meet moving forward. Luis did not answer questions specifying the location and logistics of future meetings.

“Next week and moving forward, Senate will be meeting in person in a location that will be announced soon,” Luis wrote. “Additionally, all committee meetings will be taking place in person as well.”

Contact Eve Thompson at ethompson@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @evealanaa.

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