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Democrats Gain More Clout in Tallahassee


November 29, 2012 | WMFE- 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 Democratic leaders say that's good news for efforts to find more bi-partisan solutions to the state's problems.


Unlike last year when only two Democrats were named to Senate leadership positions, this year Gaetz has appointed five Democrats to chair Senate committees.

He also chose Democratic senators as vice-chairs for committees that are led by Republican chairs. That’s also a departure from last year when many committees had both a Republican chair and vice chair.

Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith applauds Gaetz for his actions.
“By putting Democrats within leadership with Republicans, I think he’s sending a signal that he wants the Senate to continue as a more congenial body that works together on issues not just a partisan group that votes Republican and Democrat.” Smith says.

The state house, meanwhile, looks a bit more like it did last session with all but one committee led by Republican chairs.

 

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