Election and Session info
Friday, January 18, 2019
Earlier this month in Tallahassee, Governor Ron DeSantis was officially sworn in as the 46th Governor of the State of Florida. In addition, Ashley Moody was sworn in as Attorney General, Jimmy Patronis was sworn in as the state’s Chief Financial Officer, and Nikki Fried was sworn in as Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The 2019 Session of the Florida Legislature is fast approaching; convening on Tuesday, March 5 in Tallahassee. Although more organizational in nature, two weeks of committee meetings have already been held. To get legislation moving through the process, the legislature will hold four additional committee weeks with the first occurring the week of January 22, and the other three scheduled for the weeks of the 4th, 11th, and 19th in February.
In the two-year cycle leading to the November 2018 elections FES and ACEC-Florida contributed a total of $93,425 to 24 candidates through the Florida Engineers Political Action Committee (FEPAC)and the Consulting Engineers Legislative Council (CELC). Of those 24; four lost including Matt Caldwell who ran for Agriculture Commissioner, and Dana Young who was seeking reelection to her Senate seat. Both of those races ended in recounts.
For those candidates who were successful, many have now been appointed to powerful positions.
In the Senate, Kathleen Passidomo will serve as Majority Leader, Rob Bradley will serve as Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Wilton Simpson will serve as Chair of the Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee, Tom Lee will serve as Chair of the Infrastructure and Security Committee, Kelly Stargel will serve as Chair of the Rules Committee, and Ben Albritton will serve as Chair of the Agriculture Committee and Vice-Chair of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
In the House, Travis Cummings will serve as Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Chris Sprowls will serve as Chair of the Rules Committee, Mike LaRosa will serve as Chair of the Commerce Committee, and Jennifer Sullivan will serve as Chair of the Education Committee.
FES and ACEC-Florida will pursue legislation this session to make some needed changes to Chapter 471, and to codify into law the successor engineer rule. The language for the bill is currently in bill drafting. As soon as it is released and filed, we will provide our membership a full update on our bill, and all other bills important to the engineering community.
ACEC National’s new President and CEO, Linda Darr has a quick announcement regarding ACEC/PAC--- We did it! In late December, ACEC/PAC crossed the million-dollar fundraising threshold for 2018! This is a tremendous achievement for the engineering industry, and I wanted to say thank you and let you know how much I appreciate your support of this essential piece of ACEC’s advocacy program.
Our successes on Capitol Hill – including the new tax law that provides engineering passthrough firms with a new 20% tax deduction and a significantly lower rate for C corporations – are made easier by the political muscle provided through ACEC/PAC. And our record of bipartisanship – supporting lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who support the engineering industry’s priorities – will serve us well as we head into the new Congress in 2019. Thank you once again for your strong support! ---Linda Darr, ACEC President and CEO.