The Second Half: The End of Florida’s Legislative Session Doesn’t Mean Cessation

“Sine Die!”

With one phrase, the Florida Legislature wrapped up the 2021 Legislative Session. Interesting term, this “Sine Die!” is. It is a Latin phrase that means the meeting is adjourned without any future date being designated for resumption.

Seems final, doesn’t it? Almost as if there was nothing left to say or do.

The truth is, when the Legislative Session adjourns the real work begins.

The work of hearing from and meeting with constituents in your district.

The fundamentals of conferencing with local municipalities in one’s area to hear the needs of the city or county they represent.

In other words, “Sine Die!” does not mean, ‘Whoohoo! Vacation time!’

No, it means it’s time for legislators to head back home to the folks who sent them to Tallahassee to do the will of the people and to make life better for them to give an account of the work they have done.

The 2021 Florida Legislative Session saw its fair share of winners and losers this go round. Some lawmakers are coming home with blue ribbon wins on critical pieces of legislation. Others, a mere honorable mention.

What continues to both enliven and encourage me is how the FRRC Policy Platform keeps beating the odds and living on despite what doubters or worse have said. FRRC understands that the end of a legislative session doesn’t mean cessation. No, it means we head for the locker room, get realigned with the coaching staff, reassess critical strategies, and get back out there for the second half.

Though the session may be over, the gridiron of grassroots organizing and community empowerment continues on. It simply shifts its focus back to local and regional issues that are important to the wider coalition of members and the communities they live in.

As you keep an eye on the movements of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and your finger on the pulse of the continuing movement to see Returning Citizens freely accepted and fully restored, you’ll find the men and women of FRRC vigorously moving the ball forward from Central Florida to the muck of South Florida’s sugarcane areas. All in an effort to effect real positive change for returning citizens and their families in our communities. The local and regional emphasis is the “valley low” grassroots work that organizers do when the “mountain top” of the state capitol is closed and covered in fog. Like bad weather at a ball game doesn’t always stop the play, nor does the seeming halt of legislative progress hamper or hinder the folks in everyday communities from fighting on with their demand for change and a fairer democracy for all.

FRRC wants to see our people…Vote! Work! Drive! Rent! Live!

So, we forge ahead, addressing the deeply entrenched biases that unfairly discriminate against returning citizens when it comes to housing. From county to county, we’re championing the expansion of eligibility for returning citizen housing, and the increase of access and funding for returning citizen housing.

We “back the bus up” in every region of the state of Florida, signing folks up for the Fines and Fees Program and registering those who are eligible to vote, while from headquarters, working to expand the Fines and Fees Modification Program, implementing a streamlined Fines and Fees Program.

With a true commitment to push for full voting access in jails, ending prison gerrymandering, and even advocating for the use of American Rescue Plan funds to serve Returning Citizens, the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition is in the second-half, has the ball, and is in the red zone.

All that’s left? An ESPN-ready, highlight-worthy, celebration-dance-hall of fame- worthy TOUCHDOWN!!!

If you know FRRC, then you know a “W” is in sight!



The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition is committed to ending the disenfranchisement and discrimination against people with convictions

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Do Justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly.

The Blog of Chasman Barnes: Policy Professional, Advocate for Criminal and Social Justice Reform, and sought after Communicator.