TAMPA, Fla. (WMBB) – At Friday’s public hearing, Florida’s Judicial Circuit Assessment Committee heard from over 80 attorneys, judges, and private citizens as they continue to discuss a possible consolidation.

The committee was the subject of scrutiny over its plan to hold a private executive session following Friday’s hearing. Due to the amount of public speakers, no session took place.

14th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Larry Basford attended Friday’s hearing. He says the majority of comments were in overwhelming opposition.

“The public is opposed to any efforts to consolidate our judicial circuit. Now, the reasons given were numerous. The top three were number one, there has been no evidence to show that there is a compelling need to do so. Number two, any change in the judicial circuit alignment would affect public safety. And number three, to change a system that is working well against the will of the people would erode the public’s trust and confidence in our judicial system,” said Basford.

Those who spoke in support argued a reassessment is timely. Florida hasn’t altered its judicial circuits since 1969.

The committee still has two executive sessions planned for November 17th and 29th. They will submit their final report to the Florida Supreme Court on December 1st.