Speaker Cretul retools House leadership
House Speaker Larry Cretul, R-Ocala, has reshaped the House leadership structure with an eye toward "efficiency and stability" while improving continuity in a term-limits environment by giving first- and second-term lawmakers more responsibilities.
Cretul has reduced the number of budget-writing appropriations councils from two to one, eliminating the so-called "two-headed monster" that was created by the former Speaker, Ray Sansom of Destin, who is expected to be stripped of all legislative assignments, including chairmnanship of the House Policy Council (Former Rep. Bob Allen of Merritt Island was left with no assignments after he was charged with a crime in 2007). Read Cretul's memorandum to House members here.
Cretul also has eliminated four House committees and has limited committees to 14 members each. (Under Sansom, some committees were bigger and some were smaller, so a lot of the rank-and-file members assignments are expected to change). The abolished committees and their chairmen are:State & Community Colleges & Workforce Appropriations (Rep. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel); Healthy Seniors Appropriations (Rep. Carl Domino, R-Jupiter); Human Services Appropriations (Rep. Juan Zapata, R-Miami); and State & Community Colleges & Workforce Policy (Rep. Seth McKeel, R-Lakeland).
Individual members' assignments will be announced later Monday, and it is expected that Rep. David Rivera, R-Miami, will be the chairman of the sole remaining House Appropriations Council. (The other appropriations council chair, Rep. Marcelo Llorente of Miami, is running for local office in Miami-Dade County).*