Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida House leader revamps legislators' assignments

TALLAHASSEE — House Speaker Larry Cretul reshuffled the leadership deck Monday by demoting some members, promoting others and stripping disgraced ex-Speaker Ray Sansom of all committee assignments.

Cretul, an Ocala Republican who took over for Sansom in February, merged two powerful budget-writing committees into one smaller one, headed by Rep. David Rivera, R-Miami, who appeared to be the big winner in the power shuffle.

Cretul eliminated four committees and reduced the number of lawmakers on each committee, which critics said reduces the number of House members in the decisionmaking process

"This is an abomination," said Rep. J.C. Planas, R-Miami, who lost his chairmanship of a committee on domestic security and instead was named chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Counsel Oversight.

Planas said he planned to file a rules complaint against the speaker, claiming the changes violated House rules because the membership had voted for a committee structure with two separate budget chairmen. Planas said Cretul was acting like Sansom by "bending the rules to consolidate his power."

The speaker's spokeswoman, Jill Chamberlin, said Cretul won't discuss the reasons for his changes. "He decided not to discuss details of individual decisions," Chamberlin said.

Sansom, who is awaiting trial on charges of perjury and official misconduct, lost his chairmanship of the Policy Council and his membership on two other committees. Hours before Cretul stripped Sansom of his duties, Sansom sent Cretul an e-mail message asking that he not be given any assignments.

Now that Cretul is reconsolidating the budget chairmanship, the speaker is undoing one of the last legacies of Sansom, who divided the post between Reps. Marcelo Llorente and Rivera.

Last session, Rivera used the budget to push issues that would have had political benefits for his Republican Senate campaign. With little debate, Rivera inserted budget language that would have banned using state higher-education money for embryonic stem-cell research and for travel to Cuba. The Senate blocked the measures.

Who is assigned to what now? Go to blogs.tampabay.com/buzz to find out.

Florida House leader revamps legislators' assignments 08/24/09 [Last modified: Monday, August 24, 2009 9:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Flower boxes on Fort Harrison in Clearwater to go, traffic pattern to stay

    Roads

    I travel Fort Harrison Avenue in Clearwater often and I've noticed that the travel lanes have been rerouted to allow for what looks like flower boxes that have been painted by children. There are also a few spaces that push the travel lane to the center that have no boxes. Is this a permanent travel lane now? It …

  2. Palm Harbor boat dealer facing litany of complaints of bad deals

    Business

    PALM HARBOR — With an aging father sick in the hospital and a son just graduating high school, Andrew Kashella, in between jobs, knew what he had to do.

    A sign on a front window of Gulf Coast Boat Sales, 37517 Us Highway 19 N, in Palm Harbor, notifies people they are under restructuring  The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office has received 20 complaints against Gulf Coast Boat Sales in Palm Harbor. Complainants say they sold the shop their boats and never got paid and/or paid for boats they never received. Pinellas County Consumer Protection is leading the investigation.
  3. Here's what you need to know before you buy that Groupon vacation deal

    Travel

    There are times in life that call for caution, for using that chunk of money in savings to renovate the bathroom because the bathroom is from 1974, and not in a cool way.

    ALI DOUGLASS   |   Special to the Times
  4. Zephyrhills selects company to operate planned tennis center

    Local Government

    ZEPHYRHILLS — The Zephyrhills City Council has selected a company whose owner has past ties to the tennis community in Pasco County to run the city's planned center for the sport.

  5. Rays set to activate Tommy Hunter from DL

    Blogs

    The Rays plan to activate RHP Tommy Hunter from the DL for Thursday's series finale against the Angels.