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William March: New leadership roles for Hillsborough lawmakers

New Florida Senate President Bill Galvano, R- Bradenton, has tapped Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, as chairman of what was once the Senate transportation committee but is now renamed with new duties, the Committee on Infrastructure and Security.
New Florida Senate President Bill Galvano, R- Bradenton, talks to members of the Florida Senate during the 2018 Organization Session in Tallahassee. [	SCOTT KEELER | Times]
New Florida Senate President Bill Galvano, R- Bradenton, talks to members of the Florida Senate during the 2018 Organization Session in Tallahassee. [ SCOTT KEELER | Times]
Published Nov. 28, 2018|Updated Nov. 28, 2018

Newly elected or re-elected Hillsborough legislators are about to take over a few powerful leadership positions in Tallahassee.

The most powerful legislator representing the county will be state Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, about to take office as Senate president. His district covers a sizeable chunk of southeast Hillsborough, including Sun City Center.

Galvano has tapped Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, as chairman of what was once the Senate transportation committee but is now renamed with new duties, the Committee on Infrastructure and Security.

Upgrading infrastructure including ports, airports and other transportation facilities, dealing with traffic congestion and making Florida infrastructure secure are priorities for Galvano, Lee said.

Two Hillsborough Senate Democrats will hold committee vice chairs, typically the most powerful posts minority party legislators can hope for – Janet Cruz in military and veterans affairs and space, and Darryl Rouson in banking and insurance.

In Washington, meanwhile, Tampa U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor may be a contender for chairmanship of the health subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee. That would make Castor, a long-time supporter of the Affordable Care Act, a key player in health policy.

With House leadership in flux, committee posts haven't yet been decided.

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