The daughter of state Sen. Larcenia Bullard wants lobbyists, elected officials and college presidents to send flowers and fruit baskets to her mother when session starts on Tuesday.
In an email addressed to more than three dozen people, including University of Miami President Donna Shalala and Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padron, Edwina B. Simms listed contact information for several Tallahassee florists and gift shops. She also included the address of her mother's Tallahassee office.
“Although you may not be able to travel to Tallahassee to be present on this day, I am quite sure she would be SUPER SURPRISED and APPRECIATIVE of your well wishes,” Simms wrote.
Bullard, who is serving her final year in the Florida Senate because of term limits, said she knew nothing about the email from her daughter.
“I guess she was trying to surprise me,” Bullard said. “She is a sweetheart.”
The Miami Democrat pointed out that lawmakers can accept floral arrangements and other celebratory items on the first day of session.
In 2010, Bullard’s legislative aides asked lobbyists to send flowers, fruit baskets, water and diet sodas on opening day.
"Has Sen. Larcenia J. Bullard assisted your organization in the past and championed causes which you advocate?" staffers wrote in an email. "Let her know just how much you appreciate her efforts with a Bouquet or Fruit Basket."
Bullard said the email was meant as a surprise to brighten her spirits. At the time, the veteran lawmaker had serious health concerns.
This year, Bullard said she is feeling much better –- and full of mixed emotions as she heads into her final session. Bullard isn’t quite ready for her swan song, she said. "It has taken this long to really grasp everything," she said. "I do believe we need to expand term limits to at least 16 years."