anitere_flores.jpgTALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – The annual legislative session would start in January instead of March every other year under a bill approved by the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee.

The bill (SB 1356) approved Monday would set the session opening date to the Tuesday after the second Monday in January in even-numbered years.

Its sponsor, Republican Sen. Anitere Flores of Miami, said one of the benefits would be settling the budget earlier.

The state constitution requires the 60-day session start on the first Tuesday of March in odd-numbered years, but leaves open an earlier start on even-numbered years if the Legislature sets the earlier date.

There is currently no House bill dealing with the issue.