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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida Senate confirms 10 agency heads appointed by Gov. Rick Scott



Without any debate or comment, Florida senators easily confirmed nearly a dozen agency heads this morning, endorsing appointments made by Republican Gov. Rick Scott and giving the executives job security going forward.

The Senate declined to confirm all 10 of them last year, so if they weren't confirmed this session, they'd be out of their jobs.

Those confirmed by the Senate Thursday were:

-- Julie Jones, Department of Corrections secretary

-- Mike Carroll, Department of Children and Families secretary

-- Barbara Palmer, Agency for Persons with Disabilities director

-- Sam Verghese, Department of Elder Affairs secretary

-- Christina Daly, Department of Juvenile Justice secretary

-- Rick Swearingen, Florida Department of Law Enforcement commissioner

-- Chad Poppell, Department of Management Services secretary

-- Ken Detzner, Secretary of State

-- Liz Dudek, Agency for Health Care Administration secretary

-- Ken Lawson, Department of Business and Professional Regulation secretary

The Senate voted, 35-0, to confirm them en masse; senators could record "no" votes on individual appointees with the chamber secretary.

All but Swearingen serve at Scott's pleasure. Swearingen serves at the pleasure of Scott and the Florida Cabinet.

Absent from the list of today's confirmations is Florida Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong, who narrowly cleared his first committee this week and potentially faces more tough vetting before another, before the full Senate could consider his appointment.

Also this morning, the Senate confirmed 25 Scott appointees to governing boards overseeing Florida's state colleges and public universities, seven people to state boards, and another 70 people Scott appointed to local and regional boards and committees.

Among those local confirmations was Scott's former general counsel Pete Antonacci, whom Scott named executive director of the South Florida Water Management District.

[Last modified: Thursday, February 18, 2016 10:39am]


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