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Florida GOP sources say special legislative session will be called

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (CNN) -- As a circuit judge heard testimony regarding the legitimacy of votes in some Florida counties, the state Legislature was poised for a special session to address selection of the state's 25 presidential electors, GOP sources told CNN.

The sources, from the Florida House of Representatives, said they are confident the speaker of the House and the Senate president will on Monday sign a proclamation calling for the special session to begin on Wednesday.

The only question mark is whether Senate President John McKay -- a Republican -- will go along with that plan. Both the House speaker and the Senate president must sign the proclamation for a session to be called.

Sources said McKay is cautious about calling the legislators to action. On Friday, McKay indicated that he would first want to review a report by the joint committee formed to look into the election. That report, initially due out this weekend, may not be released until Monday.

"This is sort of like a Rubik's Cube as you expose one possibility there are other possibilities that are additionally exposed," McKay said.

Still, House Republicans are confident that they will convince McKay to sign a proclamation. "Barring a legal resolution to the entire problem," said one Republican involved, "the Legislature must act."

House Speaker Tom Feeney is ready to call a special session as soon as possible. In a statement Friday, Feeney quoted the U.S. Constitution to support his belief that the Florida Legislature must intervene to ensure that Florida's 15 million voters are included in the presidential election.

"As soon as the Florida House and Florida Senate work out the language and schedule, I am prepared to sign a proclamation for a special session to preserve the election results," Feeney said.

If a special session were to start on Wednesday, legislators would essentially have six days to pass a bill or joint resolution to choose Florida's electors before the December 12th deadline.

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has said he would sign such a bill if he thought it was appropriately worded.


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Saturday, December 2, 2000

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