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Politics

Senate Intends to Work Quickly This Time on Governor's Appointees

December 3, 2012 - 6:00pm

Last session, nearly 400 gubernatorial appointments were left up in the air about their positions when they failed to receive Senate confirmation.

Heading into the 2013 session, Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, doesnt want members waiting until the appointees reach the Senate floor before expressing concerns.

The worst thing that could happen is to work a nominee through the process and we get to the floor and somebody walks over to (Senate Ethics and Elections Committee Chairman Jack) Latvala and says why did we move that guy or why didnt we move that woman, shes great, Gaetz said.

Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, said he will send a list of nominees to all members after the holidays so they can quickly voice any support or concerns to the Ethics and Elections Committee, which will review the appointments.

Latvala added that he may expedite the nearly 230 appointees that Gov. Rick Scott had reappointed after receiving committee support in 2012 but failed to reach the Senate floor for full confirmation. Well be proactive, Latvala said.

In the frantic final hours of the 2012 regular session, as bills were debated regarding auto insurance, Citizens Property Insurance, the parent trigger for charter schools and the budget, senators found time to slip in the confirmation of eight appointments by Gov. Rick Scott.

No action was taken on another 392 appointments and reappointments from the governor to such key posts as the Enterprise Florida board of directors, the board of governors of the State University System, Florida Citrus Commission, regional water management district boards, as well as numerous selections to various hospital, college and regional planning counsels.

Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, said they got jammed for time despite hours of floor time being dominated by going-away speeches by departing senators and a portrait-unveiling for the Senate president.

Those who do not receive confirmation can be reappointed by the governor within 45 days of the session.

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.

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