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Florida lawmakers look at adding judges

House bill sponsored by Justice Appropriations Chairman Clay Yarborough, R-Jacksonville

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday could consider bills that would create new judgeships in several parts of the state.

The House Appropriations Committee is slated to take up a measure that would create 10 new circuit and county judge positions.

The bill (HB 5301), sponsored by Justice Appropriations Chairman Clay Yarborough, R-Jacksonville, would add two circuit judges in the 9th Judicial Circuit, which is made up of Orange and Osceola counties; one circuit judge in the 1st Judicial Circuit, which is made up of Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties; and one circuit judge in the 14th Judicial Circuit, which is made up of Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson and Washington counties.

The bill also would add four county judges in Hillsborough County, one county judge in Orange County and one county judge in Lee County.

The bill tracks a request in November from the Florida Supreme Court.

The Senate Appropriations Committee, meanwhile, could take up a measure (SPB 7050) that would create five new circuit-judge positions.

Two of the positions would be in the 9th Judicial Circuit, one would be in the 1st Judicial Circuit, one would be in the 14th Judicial Circuit, and one would be in the 4th Judicial Circuit, which is made up of Duval, Clay and Nassau counties.