Atwater issues committee assignments; DLP gets energy
Senate President Jeff Atwater just sent a memo outlining new committee assignments for the senators who will be in Tallahassee next week for committee meetings in preparation for the 2010 spring Legislative session. It is the first time in over a decade that former Senate president Jim King won't be around. And new senators including Joe Negron and John Thrasher will make a return to the Capitol as elected officials.
Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, will take King's place leading the communications, energy and public utilities committee. His wife Claudia Diaz de la Portilla lobbies for many clients including the telecommunications industry and Florida Energy Associates, the group pushing for oil drilling. Negron, who won the seat formerly held by Ken Pruitt, also will serve on the energy committee.
Negron also got put in charge of the judiciary committee. Senate president designee Mike Haridopolos will lead the reapportionment committee, which includes fellow R's Charlie Dean and Mike Bennett and D's Chris Smith and Al Lawson.
Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico, who opposed the CSX rail proposal, is no longer on the transportation appropriations committee whose endorsement is key. CSX railroader Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, who engineered its demise last spring, is on the committee.
Here's the full list (Thrasher's assignments will be determined after the final election against a write-in)
TO: All Senators
FROM: Senate President Jeff Atwater
SUBJECT: Committee Assignments
DATE: October 2, 2009
Next week marks the first time in over a decade that committee meetings will commence without our esteemed colleagues Senator Ken Pruitt and Senator Jim King. While the absence of our friends and respected public servants leave an irreplaceable void in our halls, I look forward to welcoming and working with the new Senators elected by the people of Florida.
As we adjust to these changes, prepare to welcome new members, and get ready to tackle the challenges ahead, some modifications in committee assignments were necessary. We have maintained the committee structure and many of the original appointments. The attached assignments reflect my desire to ensure that every Senator has the opportunity to make a difference for the communities they represent. Additional changes will be necessary once the District 08 election is certified.
The coming session will be challenging, but I remain confident that together we can build a stronger future for Florida.
I look forward to seeing you in Tallahassee next week.