Florida Senate passage of plan to split supreme court “rests on a knife’s edge”; Lt. Gov. cannot break tie

News reports this morning indicate that the effort to split the Florida Supreme Court may be unraveling in the Senate.

FlaglerLive.com Proposal to Split Florida Supreme Court Faces Long Odds in the Senate “The fate of House Speaker Dean Cannon’s overhaul of the Supreme Court seemed to rest on a knife’s edge Thursday evening”
MiamiHerald.com Florida Supreme Court overhaul hits resistance in Senate
Orlando Sentinel Split Supreme Court plan jams up Senate
Sunshine State News Dean Cannon’s Court Reform Runs Into Senate Opposition

With not a single Democrat (House or Senate) expressing any kind of support forĀ  SJR 2084 / HJR 7111, it all comes down to a GOP whip count. Republicans hold 28 of 40 seats. They can therefore afford 7 defections and still get passage (21-19).

Update: I made an error. A constitutional amendment would not require a simple majority, but a three-fifths (i.e. 24 of 30).

The state’s Lieutenant Governor, under the state’s present constitution, cannot cast a tie-breaking vote. A 20 year experiment with such a system lasted only from 1865 to 1885 with the last tie-breaking Lt. Gov. leaving office in 1889. When the office was brought back in 1968 it did not include any role in or involving the Senate.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking. The Senate comes into session today at 1:30 Eastern and is calendared to recess by 5:45 according to their media calendar. The legislature adjourns outright May 6.