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Hurricane Irma could interrupt Florida Legislature's plans

Florida Legislature (26)


Florida lawmakers are scheduled to return to Tallahassee next week to begin committee hearings in advance of their 2018 session.

But Hurricane Irma could put a wrinkle in those plans.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, and Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, wrote to their members Tuesday morning that "a final decision" about next week's meetings will be made "as the path of the storm becomes more clearly defined."

Until that time, legislative leaders will move ahead as normal in noticing public committee hearings, they said.

MORE: "What’s the latest Hurricane Irma path?"

"With the specific timing and trajectory of Hurricane Irma still uncertain, later today we plan to proceed with publication of the interim calendar, including the notice of committee meetings scheduled for next week," Negron wrote. "Hurricane Irma currently poses a serious threat to our state, and I encourage all Senators and staff to use the next few days to ensure your home and family are prepared."

"Please join me in continuing to pray for those who will be affected by Hurricane Irma in the coming days," Corcoran wrote.

The Legislature's first committee hearings for 2018 are scheduled to begin Sept. 12. The 2018 session begins in early January.

Meanwhile, after issuing a statewide emergency declaration on Monday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday morning asked President Donald Trump for a pre-landfall emergency declaration from the federal government to free up funding sources for emergency protective measures in advance of Irma.

Photo credit: Senate President Joe Negron, right, R-Stuart, and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, speak to reporters. AP