A polarizing bill designed to prevent the use of Islamic Sharia law in Florida courts appears doomed for the year, after it failed to gain enough support in the Senate on Thursday afternoon.
The bill (HB 351), sponsored in the Senate by Lake County Republican Sen. Alan Hays, fell a single vote short of the two-thirds it needed to overcome a procedural hurdle on the second-to-last day of the annual legislative session. The bill needed the support of 26 senators and 25 voted for it.
Democratic Sen. Geraldine Thompson of Orlando, who cast a crucial vote earlier in the session to get the bill through a committee, voted against it on the Senate floor.
After Thursday's vote, Senate Rules Chairman John Thrahser, R-Orange Park, said the legislation was “effectively dead” for the session, unless supporters are able to persuade someone to change their vote before the session gavels to a close tomorrow.