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Special Session Still Not Happening, But Some Stay Determined For SYG Review

Florida Department of Children and Families

A majority of Florida lawmakers say there will be no special session to review Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. The preliminary results of a procedural move led by a group of Democrat lawmakers show they don’t have enough votes to trigger a special session. But, that’s still not deterring those who want another look at the law.

Since late Wednesday, more than half of the state lawmakers voted against the idea of calling a special session. In a tweet that same day, House Speaker Will Weatherford said it shows “Florida supports self-defense laws.” He also later indicated it’s time the protestors, who want a look into Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, leave the Capitol.***


But, House Democratic Leader Perry Thurston applauded the work of the Dream Defenders, adding that the results, so far, of the poll asking for lawmakers’ opinion on a special session will not discourage him from continuing to ask for a legislative review of the law.

“Well, I think that the poll results are not surprising. But, I think that the things that we talked about which was necessary, like clarifying for law enforcement, are still needed. I don’t think this, by any means, will deter the vigilance to which we pursue this matter,” said Thurston.

A vote was recently triggered after more than 20-percent of lawmakers asked the Department of State for a special session in writing. The agency must then poll the 160-member Legislature, and three-fifths of the lawmakers must vote “yes” to call the special session.

As of Wednesday, lawmakers voted 89-37 not to call a special session. Close to 60 more “yes” votes were needed to pursue a special session. But, with the votes Democrats already had, it was clear they wouldn’t reach that goal since only 40 people had not yet voted.

The most updated numbers late Thursday is 90-42 not to call a special session. Monday is the last day lawmakers can vote.

***UPDATE***: Protestors at the Capitol calling for an end of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law announced Thursday afternoon they’d be leaving the Capitol, after a month-long sit-in in the Governor’s office.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on twitter @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.