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Special session proposal falls far shot

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A Democratic effort to hold a special session to increase education funding formally died Thursday, as Republican opposition blocked the idea.

Supporters needed support from three-fifths majorities in the House and Senate to spur the special session.

A final tally from the Department of State showed that 105 House members voted on the proposal, with only 41 supporting it.

In the Senate, 29 members cast votes, with 16 supporting the special session.

Taking into account empty seats, Democrats needed votes from 23 senators and 70 House members to reach the 60 percent threshold for support.

A dozen House Republicans and 10 Senate Republicans didn’t cast votes.

Rep. Shevrin Jones, a West Park Democrat who joined Rep. Nicholas Duran, D-Miami, in advocating for the poll, called the results “disheartening” and disappointing.

“While many of our colleagues are focused on their pursuits for higher office, we are focused on the matters at hand, most importantly, doing our jobs in representing the best interest of our districts,” Jones said in a prepared statement.

Among those who did not vote were Rep. Jay Fant, a Jacksonville Republican who is running for attorney general, and Rep. Ross Spano, a Dover Republican who is running for Congress.