Sine Die: 7:06 p.m.
From left, Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp, Senate President Ken Pruitt, Gov. Charlie Crist and Sen. Dan Webster. [Times | Scott Keeler]
The end of the special session on property taxes may leave a lasting mark on relations between the House and Senate. That much was evident at a post session news conference the governor held. Crist was surrounded by Republican senators that not one House leader attended -- underscoring the sense that the result was a Senate-only product.
"What happened today was historic and extremely important to our people," Crist said. "So much joy here, because the people have won. They were patient with us, but we brought it home."
But Crist, who campaigned on doubling the homestead exemption and providing Save Our Homes portability, had to work hard to obtain passage in the House. Kottkamp was on the floor much of the afternoon while Crist worked the phones. He touched base with Rep. Jack Seiler, D-Wilton Manors, three times.
Rep. Ron Saunders, D-Key West, said opponents had enough votes to kill it, but the drawn-out debate gave Crist a lot of time to turn votes around.
Crist will take a victory lap around the state Tuesday, stopping in Jacksonville, Orlando and St. Lucie County.
-- Steve Bousquet