Fla. Dems Could Have More Influence In Coming Legislative Session

Nov 28, 2012

Democrats could have more influence in the Republican-led Florida Legislature this year. Senate President Don Gaetz appointed several Democrats to top leadership positions in the Senate. And, some say that’s good news for efforts to find more bi-partisan solutions.

Unlike last year where only two Democrats were named to Senate leadership positions, this year Gaetz has appointed five Democrats to chair Senate committees. He also selected Democrats as vice chairs, for committees that have Republican chairs. That’s also a break from last year, when many committees had both a Republican Chair and Vice Chair. And, Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith applauds Gaetz for his actions.

“And, by putting Democrats within Leadership with its Republicans, I think he’s sending a signal that he wants the Senate to continue as that more congenial body that works together on issues, not just a partisan group and vote Republican and Democrat on issues, but we’re going to work together on issues and try to come up with a bipartisan solution to some of Florida’s problems,” said Smith.

Smith says he hopes some of the issues Senators will work across the aisle on, will include insurance and the Affordable Health Care Act.  Meanwhile, in the Florida House, all but one committee do not have Democrats in leadership positions.

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