Tradition reigns as session ends

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida legislators gather in celebration of sine die. Photo by Zarria Hill

Florida’s legislative session cane to a a close Monday day with the traditional sine die. The motion to “adjourn sine die” is the last action of a session of the Legislature.

Lawmakers passed a proposed $112.1 billion budget to end a legislative session that was filled with debates about issues such as education, abortion and immigration.

Originally, the session was scheduled to end last Friday, but a delay in finalizing the budget forced lawmakers to extend this year’s session until Monday.

Before the session was called to order, legislators greeted each other as the track “Closing time” by Semisonic played on public speakers.

The session was called to order and Representative James Bush, D-Miami, led lawmakers in a prayer, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

The session adjourned at 1:03 p.m., after votes on the budget and a series of related bills.

Gov. Ron DeSantis joined lawmakers’ families and friends as they gathered on the Capitol’s fourth floor. The ceremony included a traditional handkerchief drop marking the end of the session.

Handkerchiefs being dropped to conclude this year’s session. Photo courtesy News Service of Florida

DeSantis spoke about some of the bills that were passed, and what they could mean for Florida’s future.

“This really was the year of the parent for the state of Florida,” DeSantis said.

While Desantis was giving his remarks, some overlooking protesters began to release fake $100 bills as they chanted “fund communities, not corporations.”

After following up with the protestors, one of them thoroughly explained what took place.

“We were calling out all the money that private corporations have received from elected officials, versus the funds that should be going to our community. Bills are being passed, and money is going to things that nobody is asking for. We are in the middle of a housing crisis, a pandemic, and our communities don’t have access to housing, food, healthcare and quality education,” said a protester who asked to identified as Sankara.

“We can’t pretend that nothing is happening. So we wanted to intentionally call it out being that they did drop the handkerchief, we wanted to call out that this is not peaceful and nothing that communities ask for has been done. We dropped $10,000 in fake money on them so we can amplify the fact that this is money that is not going to our communities,” he added.

House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, described the session as empowering families, as he and Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Spring Hill, gave their closing remarks.

One-third of the current legislators will not be returning due to term limits or other commitments.


Fun facts: Lawmakers and lobbyists traditionally wear pink, red and white on sine die day.

● Pink is in the likeness of the pink sports coat always worn on the last day of session by late insurance lobbyist Marvin Arrington. He died just before the end of the 2002 session.

● Red is for the solo cups lobbyists are known to sneak alcohol into for the celebrations.

● White is for the “hanky drop.” Handkerchiefs are ceremonially dropped by the House and Senate sergeants at arms to mark the moment of session’s end, a tradition that started in the 1920s when the chambers weren’t visible to each other.