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Corcoran Names House Leadership Team

House Speaker Richard Corcoran

Ready to formally take charge of the Florida House this month, incoming Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O' Lakes, on Wednesday named 11 lawmakers to his leadership team.

The announcement came after Tuesday's elections ensured that all of Corcoran's choices, including the chairmen of nine committees, would return to the House for the next two years.

Corcoran named Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, to lead the powerful appropriations committee. Trujillo, who fended off a challenge Tuesday from Democrat Patricio Moreno, was one of five Miami-Dade County Republicans named by Corcoran to leadership positions.

Among the others, Corcoran named Rep. Jeanette Nunez, R-Miami, to serve as speaker pro tempore, one of his top lieutenants. Also, Rep. Jose Oliva, a Miami Lakes Republican who is slated to become speaker in 2018, will chair the Rules & Policy Committee.

The House and Senate will hold an organization session Nov. 22 that will include installing new leaders and swearing in members. Corcoran has long been preparing to serve as speaker, replacing outgoing Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island.

Corcoran has made changes in the House's committee structure, and the 120 members are expected to receive their committee assignments in mid-December, according to a memo issued Wednesday. Also still to be appointed are subcommittee chairmen, including the leaders of appropriations subcommittees that play a key role in drawing up the annual state budget.

Along with announcing the appointment of Nunez and committee chairmen, Corcoran named Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, as House majority leader. In that role, Rodrigues will help ensure that Republican members support Corcoran's agenda.

In the other appointments announced Wednesday:

  • Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, will serve as chairman of the Commerce Committee, which will oversee a wide range of issues such as agriculture, utilities and insurance.
  • Rep. Michael Bileca, R-Miami, will serve as chairman of the Education Committee.
  • Rep. Rep. Matt Caldwell, R-North Fort Myers, will serve as chairman of the Government Accountability Committee, which will oversee issues such as local and federal affairs, natural resources and transportation.
  • Rep. Travis Cummings, R-Orange Park, will serve as chairman of the Health & Human Services Committee.
  • Rep. Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, will serve as chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
  • Rep. Larry Metz, R-Yalaha, will serve as chairman of the Public Integrity & Ethics Committee.
  • Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, will serve as chairman of the Ways & Means Committee.

The House will hold training meetings for members the week of Dec. 5 before holding five weeks of committee meetings in January and February. The 2017 legislative session will start March 7.

Source: News Service of Florida.