State News
5:20 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Gaetz Tells Committee Chairs He Wants More Oversight, More Efficient Committee Process

Listen to the story!

With one term left as the Florida Senate’s top leader, Senate President Don Gaetz is reminding his appointed committee heads to toe the line this coming session.

Gaetz says he wants all committees to run more smoothly and efficiently. Speaking to committee chairs Monday, he pointed to areas where he hopes they’ll do better this legislative session.

“Please do not hear bills that do not have House companions. Just don’t hear them. If there’s a bill that dons’ have a House companion, it’s just not going to pass,” said Gaetz.

He also asked his committee chairs to only hear bills whose companion bills are moving in the House, once the session reaches its halfway point.

“Don’t try to breathe life into the living dead. My experience, having sat on a lot of Senate committees over the last few years, you begin to grind your teeth and wonder what is possessing your chairman if you’re spending a lot of time on bills that don’t have a House companion and clearly not moving in the House,” he added.

Gaetz later tasked his committee chairs with looking into how bills passed last legislative session are being implemented in Florida. That includes meeting with agency heads to go over their work plans for how they want to apply the new laws.

“Get a commitment as to the work plan with times and dates and find out what are the obstacles. Have we, notwithstanding our good intentions, put some obstacles in the way of implementation? Are those obstacles statutory, regulatory, or budgetary? Let’s identify them and this year, let’s go back and make sure what we did last year actually gets done,” said Gaetz.

Gaetz made his remarks Monday, the first day of committee week when lawmakers come to Tallahassee to start the pre-legislative process.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on twitter @SaschaCordner.