As Florida’s 2019 Legislative Session gets underway with Interim Committee Weeks beginning December 11, longtime horsemen following the lawmaking process may be wondering where the traditional Senate Regulated Industries Committee has disappeared to.
The 2018-2020 Senate President is veteran legislator Bill Galvano, whom some may recall was the primary architect of the 2010 Seminole Compact. No stranger to Florida pari-mutuel and gambling issues, Senator Galvano also recently served as President of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States, a group of legislative representatives from gaming states that meet semi-annually to discuss gambling issues with regulators, stakeholders and industry representatives.
In his address to incoming Senators on his Committee leadership assignments last week, Galvano explained that Regulated Industries, together with the Committee on Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities, have now been combined to form what he described as a more expansive and flexible “Committee on Innovation, Industry, and Technology,” which will be chaired by Senator Wilton Simpson.
To see a list of Senators assigned to the new Committee, click here. Note that committee records, audio and video replays and any special documents will be posted to this page as the legislative process moves forward.
“Maximizing opportunities to expand our state’s economic footprint is critically important as we work to structure government in a manner that allows the private sector to innovate,” Senator Galvano explained in reference to the Committee merge and name change. “With proper planning we can attract technology, not just tourists. We can be the target for venture capital, job creators, and startups. As a leader of the Senate and future presiding officer, Senator Simpson shares this vision, and I appreciate his willingness to lead the Senate in this developing area of public policy.”
Senator Simpson is also Vice Chair of the powerful Appropriations Committee tasked with creating the State of Florida’s Budget—the lone bill that must be passed annually by law.
The 2019 Florida Legislative Session begins March 5.
About the New Senate President
Elected to the Florida Senate in 2012 and subsequently re-elected, Senator Galvano currently represents Senate District 21, which consists of Manatee County and part of Hillsborough County. He has held several leadership positions in the Senate, including serving a term as Senate Majority (Republican) Leader from 2014-2016 under Senate President Andy Gardiner.
Senator Galvano previously served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2002-2010, during which he served a term as Chair of the House Rules and Calendar Council from 2008-2010. A graduate of Manatee Community College, the University of Florida, and the University of Miami Law School, he is a partner with the law firm Grimes Goebel Grimes Hawkins Gladfelter & Galvano of Bradenton.
A longtime resident of Bradenton, Florida, he and his wife, Julie, have three children, Michael, William and Jacqueline.