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Office of Senate President

The Senate President is a constitutional officer who leads the Florida Senate for a two-year term. The President, who is elected by members of the Senate, manages the operations of the Senate and presides over its sessions. The President’s many duties include: selecting a Majority Leader, appointing Senators to standing Senate committees, appointing committee chairs, and appointing citizens to a variety of boards and commissions.

Initiatives

Thank you for visiting the Florida Senate’s website.  We hope you find the wealth of information useful and look forward to receiving your feedback. I have included below a few issues I plan to focus on during the next two years.

Issue One: Let’s make our good universities great.

I have a vision that Florida’s universities can become national elite destination universities, like the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. To that end, we are developing a comprehensive plan to boost the strength and competitiveness of our state’s higher education system as our primary economic engine to drive vibrant, sustainable economic development and growth in high-paying jobs.

Issue Two: Let’s stop harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee.

Since January 2016, more than 225 billion gallons of polluted water have been released from Lake Okeechobee East into the St. Lucie River, while 549 billion gallons of polluted water have been released west out the Caloosahatchee River and to Southwest Florida. These discharges have left in their wake destroyed estuaries, polluted water, and closed businesses. I know we can find a better way.

Issue Three: Let’s not criminalize adolescence.

Our youth today are being arrested and charged for criminal acts that were once considered childhood mistakes and lack of judgement or maturity.  Instead of helping our youth to learn positively from their mistakes like we once did, they are being put in the juvenile justice system, which then creates a criminal record that could potentially follow them for their rest of their lives. We cannot and should not tolerate serious wrongdoing by young people, but at the same time, let’s not criminalize adolescence.

Issue Four: Let’s embrace the Constitution.

For me this means limited government, the supremacy of the individual, due process, and equal protection. Also, one of the most important responsibilities we have under our Constitution is to pass a balanced budget each year. I believe that within our $82 billion budget, we can fund the priorities of today instead of simply duplicating the decisions of yesterday. We will do this in an open and transparent manner that includes public input throughout this session.

We look forward to hearing from you. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (850) 487-5229.