It is that time of year when Santa’s workshop operates at full capacity, the reindeer are in training and elf magic is at full throttle. Meanwhile, back in sunny Florida, the engines fueling the 2019 Legislative Session are warming up.
Later this week, the Senate will convene interim appropriations meetings to receive reports and budget forecasts. The House is convening the Legislator University; an intense training session.
Before we get into the weeds of bill analysis, policy direction and lobbying strategy, let’s introduce you to the top leaders in each Chamber. If your favorite State Senator or State Representative is not included in this list, no slight intended.
Our bill sponsors, committee chairs, sub-committee chairs, and amendment sponsors will greatly impact our session. Most of these individual legislators will be introduced to you through our normal reporting.
Leadership Lineup in the Senate
President: Bill Galvano from Bradenton
President Pro-Tempore: David Simmons, Longwood
Majority Leader: Kathleen Passidomo, Naples
Minority Leader: Audrey Gibson, Jacksonville
Appropriations Chair: Rob Bradley, Jacksonville
Rules Chair: Lizbeth Benacquisto, Fort Myers
LEADERSHIP LINEUP IN THE HOUSE:
Speaker: Jose Oliva, Miami
Speaker Pro-Tempore: MaryLynn Magar, Hobe Sound
Majority Leader: Dane Eagle, Cape Coral
Appropriations Chair: Travis Cummings, Orange Park
Rules Chair: Chris Sprowls, Clearwater
Minority Leader: Kionne McGhee, Miami
This group of legislators exerts great influence over the referencing of bills to committees, which bills are placed on committee agendas, funding decisions and, ultimately, which bills are heard by the full chamber. FHBA enjoys a working relationship with all these leaders. Several of them actively worked with us on building code, water, growth management and other issues throughout the years.
What does all this mean? We have a leadership team in both the House and Senate that understands our issues. Not suggesting we will win 100% of the many issues in which we will engage, but we can take comfort in knowing the 2019 legislative leaders understand our issues and the importance of Home Building to the state’s economy.