Who Got Rid of the Staff?
The Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Commission held its first meeting Friday at Morris Hall. And they have a big first task ahead: hiring support staff.
Turns out that the constitutionally mandated commission, which has the power to meet every 20 years and propose tax reform ballot initiatives, used to always be staffed out of the Board of Regents. But the Florida Legislature and Gov. Jeb Bush got rid of that board back in 2001. Doh!
The commission elected a chairman, former House Speaker Allan Bense, who joked it had been so long since he had been in Morris Hall, he wasn't quite sure where it was. They also picked a vice chairman, lobbyist and former Senate President Jim Scott. They learned they have to abide by the Sunshine laws, but they are not sure if they have to abide by the gift ban. Bense told them to assume the worst and don't take anything.
Bense said that he would take charge of hiring support staff with the help of the governor's office, which helped organize the commission's first meeting.