Monday, December 11, 2017
Florida News

Florida Senate fails to confirm Scott appointees

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott's picks to run universities, colleges, state agencies and other important boards are now in limbo.

The Florida Senate failed to confirm more than 400 appointments Scott has made in the last year during the regular 60-day legislative session that ended last Friday.

Some of those who were not confirmed include the heads of the state's prison agency, as well as the agency that works with the disabled and the agency that oversees Florida's elections.

The Senate also refused to confirm four members of the State Board of Education, the panel that hires the education commissioner and is responsible for setting policy for the state's public schools.

Others who were not confirmed include members of university and college boards, water management district boards, the Florida Citrus Commission and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Under state law, all these people must leave their posts by April 23 unless Scott reappoints them.

If the Senate refuses to confirm the appointees a second time they must leave their post for at least one year before they can be reappointed.

Lane Wright, a spokesman for Scott, said that the governor would start reviewing the appointments between now and the rapidly approaching deadline.

"We will reappoint or make new appointments within the required time period," Wright said.

A spokeswoman for Senate President Mike Haridopolos said that the Senate did not act on many of the executive appointments because it was caught up in other matters, including a controversial bill that makes changes to the state's mandatory auto insurance law.

The session ran all the way up to midnight on Friday.

"The Senate simply ran out of time to confirm executive appointments on the last day of the session," said Lyndsey Cruley. "We had a number of pressing issues to get to that day."

The Senate, however, during the session did confirm eight Scott appointments, including Secretary of Transportation Ananth Prasad.

All eight of the appointees were up for confirmation last year but the Senate did not vote on them at that time. That meant that Prasad was in danger of losing his job permanently if the Senate had not acted this time around.

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