Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What do Playgrounds and Legislative Session have in common?

Today, being the first Tuesday, after the first Monday in March, marks the beginning of Legislative Session for us in Florida. A time when legislators, lobbyists, and citizens invade our capital city for a period of approximately sixty days to set a state budget and make, break, and change our state laws.

For our family, this time means the hubs is going to be even busier than normal for the next sixty days. Before becoming a full-time stay at home mom of two kids, I was also involved in the fun and chaos known as a legislative session.

Feeling a little nostalgic, I felt I should counteract thoughts of wanting to be back in the craziness by having fun with the kids. We took a trip to the playground and I was struck by the similarities of the two activities.

A few ways being at a playground is just like

being a part of legislative session

1. There are a bunch of people running around acting like two- and three-year olds.

2. Someone is always doing things the hard way, like climbing up the slide.

3. At any moment, someone will probably want to pack up their toys and go home.

4. There are plenty of ups and downs, just like the seesaw.

5. One kid (probably a future lobbyist) is trying to get other kids to think playing their game is a good idea.

6. Sometimes you need some help to get your swing to move.

7. You may have to deal with someone throwing a fit.

8. When Mom counts to three, sometimes kids come back, sometimes they run away (ahem, Wisconsin).

9. There could be name-calling and clique formation.

10. Someone’s always trying to climb higher on the monkey bars than everyone else.

11. Someone may start crying.

12. After playtime, the kids gather around a table for juice and goldfish.

Can you add to this list? Comment below.

Cheers to our friends and family who are have begun the count-down to Sine Die! May you all use your powers for good and make it back to your families soon.


A few little bits of info:

* Florida is the only state in the nation with a legislative session beginning on the first Tuesday, after the first Monday in March. It is in our state constitution (
Article III, Section 3(b)).

* The only other state starting session in March is Alabama. For a calendar of legislature dates, check out this site, BallotPedia.

* The majority of states begin their sessions in January.

* Louisiana, a state that is typically the exception to most political commonalities in our nation, is the only state to begin session after Florida.

* Adjournment Sine Die- A motion to adjourn sine die concludes a legislative session. Sine die is the Latin term for "without day."

* Do you want to teach your kid about Florida Legislative Session? Check out Online Sunshine for Kids


Florida Constitution Language:

Article III, Section 3(b), of the FLorida Constitution provides that

REGULAR SESSIONS. A regular session of the legislature shall convene on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March of each odd-numbered year, and on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March, or such other date as may be fixed by law, of each even-numbered year.

Real Language:

From the FAQ on VisitFlorida: How long does legislative session last?

The regular Legislative session runs for 60 consecutive days. Regular session begins on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March in odd numbered years. In even numbered years, regular session can begin earlier at the request of the Legislature. The Legislature will start session early when re-apportionment is needed. Special sessions, which can last up to a maximum of 20 days, occur at the order of the Governor or joint proclamation by the Speaker of the House and Senate President.


  1. LOVE this post! I often refer to my first job as the one that qualified me most to work with legislators - babysitting three year old triplets :-) I miss seeing you at the Capitol but you are doing even more important work my friend. We'll take good care of your hubby at the office. You keep those monkeys fed and loved at home :-)

  2. Triplets, well that qualifies you to juggle at least 12 things at a time I bet.

    And THANKS! Will do, but hopefully we will be at the playground more, and home less :)