Florida lawmakers were poised to return to the Capitol on Tuesday to begin work on their 2018 policy agenda.
But Hurricane Irma’s threat to the state has prompted House and Senate leaders to halt those plans.
Scheduled committee hearings for the week of Sept. 12 were canceled on Wednesday, as the massive category 5 storm was on track to strike Florida over the weekend.
“The specific trajectory of this unprecedented storm is still uncertain and impacts could vary drastically across the state. All Floridians need to be ready,” Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, said in a letter to senators this afternoon.
House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, sent a similar advisory to House members also. Both echoed Gov. Rick Scott’s request for volunteers in hurricane shelters.
“Please be supportive of these efforts if you are near an affected region,” Corcoran wrote.
Negron and Corcoran were already indicating on Tuesday the possibility of canceling next week’s hearings. They had said they were waiting to make a “final decision” until “the path of the storm becomes more clearly defined.”
The Legislature has five more committee weeks scheduled through early December. The next one is the week of Oct. 9.
The 2018 regular session begins Jan. 9.