Negron will end practice of staffers pinch-hitting for senators
In ways big and small, Senate President-designate Joe Negron plans to change the way the Senate does business. The Stuart Republican outlined his priorities last week that include $1 billion more for state universities, more money to curb pollution discharges from Lake Okeechobee and a review of what he sees as overly harsh juvenile justice laws.
He also says he'll support rules changes to fine-tune Senate procedures. Negron says he'll discontinue the practice of staff members presenting bills in committee meetings on behalf of their bosses, who are busy elsewhere. "I don't think it's a good idea," Negron said. "It's the individual senator's responsibility to persuade."
Negron also would allow senators to offer amendment to their bills when they are heard in a committee in which the senator is not a member. Under current rules, a senator must find a member of that committee to offer what's known as a courtesy amendment.
In addition, Negron would relax Senate floor procedures so that senators could have longer exchanges with each other during Q-and-A sessions on bills, eliminating a time-consuming requirement that senators be recognized from the rostrum each time they ask a question.
"I like it more like a courtroom setting," said Negron, a lawyer. "I think the flow of information is much better."