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Eight Florida lawmakers excused from start of special session

They're going to miss all the fun!

Eight members of the Florida Legislature won't be at the Capitol for Monday's start of the special session on the budget. All eight have excused absences, including the Senate president pro tem and two of House Speaker Steve Crisafulli's top lieutenants.

Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, had a long-standing commitment, according to Senate President Andy Gardiner's spokeswoman, and is the only excused senator. Eight House members -- four Republicans and four Democrats -- also won't be at their desks.

They include Republican Reps. Dana Young of Tampa, the majority leader, and Ritch Workman of Melbourne, the House Rules chairman, who's somewhere on the high seas. In a letter to Crisafulli, Workman said he will be "out of the country on international waters" from May 26 through June 9 and "it is not something I am able to rearrange."

Republican Reps. Greg Steube of Sarasota and Charles Van Zant of Keystone Heights also were excused. Democrats absent on opening day are Reps. Daphne Campbell of Miami, Ed Narain of Tampa and Bobby DuBose of Fort Lauderdale, according to Crisafulli's office.

UPDATE: Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, also was listed by the speaker's office as having an excused absence, but the House Democratic Office says Cruz is present for the start of the session.

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