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The language of the Legislature

Some terms of (political) art

Ten terms that are part of the vernacular of the Florida Legislature:

Fourth floor: Capitol home of House and Senate chambers, legislative leaders' offices and Rotunda where lobbyists gather.

Proviso: Legislative direction, usually to the governor and agencies, on how money is to be spent.

Sine Die: A Latin phrase meaning "without day," and pronounced SEE-nay DEE-ay. Used to describe a session's adjournment.

Strike-all: Often controversial, a bill that has been completely rewritten after striking the original language.

Taking a walk: A brief disappearance by a legislator to avoid casting a difficult or controversial vote.

Term limits: Voter-approved constitutional amendment that limits lawmakers' tenure to eight years in the same office.

TP: Temporarily passed or postponed, action taken when a bill is deferred, often when members don't have enough votes.

Train: A series of related bills linked together in one large package, often released in the last days of a legislative session.

Trust funds: Budget accounts supported by specific taxes or user fees to pay for related programs.

Turkey: A parochial hometown project championed by a legislator but paid for by all Florida taxpayers; the Florida version of pork-barrel spending or earmarks.

Steve Bousquet, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

The language of the Legislature 02/25/11 [Last modified: Saturday, February 26, 2011 3:47pm]

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