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Legislature leaves Gov appointees in limbo

The regular legislative session ended last week, but Regan McCarthy reports lawmakers left town without confirming a number of the governor’s state appointments.

The Florida Senate closed its regular 60-day session leaving about 400 appointments Governor Rick Scott made to state agencies, universities and other boards unconfirmed. That means those appointees, which include the Secretary of State and a number of members of the state board of education  are in limbo. Scott’s spokesman, Lane Wright says the governor has until April 23 to re-appoint the individuals in those positions, or they’ll be forced to leave their jobs.

“Governor Scott will be reviewing those appointments and re-appointing them and at this point he may make the decision to appoint somebody new.”

Scott has said he’ll re-appoint the people he thinks are doing a good job in the position.

The Senate will have a chance to confirm those same appointments during the next regular session. If they’re not okayed a second time, then the individuals appointed will have to leave their positions for at least a year before they can be considered once again for re-appointment.  Senate leaders are facing some criticism for failing to confirm the appointees, taking time instead for farewell speeches from outgoing senators. But Senate President Mike Haridopolos is nonchalant, saying the chamber just got “jammed up.”

“That’s what happened and the session is over, so I’m sure the governor will re-appoint those he thinks will do a really good job.”

And Florida Governor Rick Scott doesn’t seem worried.

They had a lot of things to do. I mean the thing I cared about was we had a billion dollars in education, we got my jobs and economic development bill passed, we got the PIP bill passed, so that’s what my biggest focus was this session and I’m really thankful for the House and the Senate that they got both those done. "

The Senate did confirm a few appointees it missed last year including Secretary of Transportation Ananth Prasad, who would have been out of job for at least a year if the Senate hadn’t taken any action this time around.

 

Follow @Regan_McCarthy

Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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