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At the end of last week, state Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, announced 18 appointments to various statewide, regional and national boards and councils.

“It is an honor to have many of my fellow Senators, as well as leaders in our communities and state, serve in these important capacities,” said Simpson on Friday. “I have full confidence that they will diligently and effectively represent the Florida Senate and the state of Florida.”

The appointments by Simpson are as follows:

  • Sen. Ben Albritton, R-Bartow, as vice-chair, Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, and Sen. Audrey Gibson, R-Jacksonville, to the Public Service Commission Nominating Council
    • The Public Service Commission Nominating Council was created by Section 350.031 of the Florida Statutes, for the purpose of screening and nominating applicants for appointment by the Governor to fill vacancies on the Florida Public Service Commission. The Council consists of 12 members: six appointed by the President of the Senate and six appointed by the Speaker of the House. The Council usually meets twice a year.
  • Albritton and Sen. Ray Rodrigues, R-Fort Myers, to the Industrial Hemp Advisory Council
    • The Industrial Hemp Advisory Council was established by Senate Bill 1020 and codified in Section 581.27(14), Florida Statutes, to provide advice and expertise to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services with respect to plans, policies and procedures applicable to the administration of the state hemp program.
  • Sen. Loranne Ausley, D-Tallahassee, to the CareerSource Florida, Board of Directors
    • The CareerSource Florida Board of Directors provides policy oversight and directs strategies and investment to address critical statewide workforce development needs.
  • Sen. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, to the Statewide Drug Policy Advisory Council
    • In 1999, the Legislature created the Office of Drug Control and the Drug Policy Advisory Council in the Executive Office of the Governor. The primary purposes of the office are to coordinate drug control efforts; provide information to the public about the problem of substance abuse and services available; and develop a strategic program and funding to coordinate state agency activities relating to drug control. In the Office of Drug Control there were three councils and one task force established: Drug Policy Advisory Council, Seaport Standards Advisory Council, the Suicide Prevention Coordinating Council, and the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Oversight and Implementation Task Force.
  • Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Jacksonville, to the Cancer Control & Research Advisory Council
    • Established by the Florida Legislature under Florida Statute 1004.435, the Florida Cancer Control and Research Advisory Council (CCRAB) is an advisory body appointed to function on a continuing basis for the study of cancer and which recommends solutions and policy alternatives to the Board of Governors and the State Surgeon General. The Council’s responsibilities include creation and approval of a program for cancer control and research known as the “Florida Cancer Control and Research Plan,” and an Annual Report to the Governor and the Legislature by February 15 of each year.
  • Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, to the Southern States Energy Board (Florida Members), At-Large Member
    • The Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) is an interstate compact composed of governors and state legislators from sixteen southern states, two territories, and a presidential appointee. The Board’s mission is to enhance economic development and the quality of life in the South through innovations in energy and environmental policies, programs, and technologies.
  • Sen. Jason Pizzo, R-Miami, to the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice
    • The purposes of the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice are to study the unmet civil legal needs of disadvantaged, low-income, and moderate income Floridians and to address those needs with programs, services, and innovative technological solutions that will create meaningful access to civil justice.
  • Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, and Sen. Shevrin Jones, D-Miami Gardens, to the Education Commission of the States
    • The Education Commission of the States serves as a partner to state policymakers by providing personalized support and helping education leaders come together to learn from one another. The Commission comprises seven members from each state and territory.
  • Sen. Ed Hooper, R-Palm Harbor, to the Southeastern Interstate Forest Fire Protection Compact Advisory Committee
    • The Southeastern Interstate Forest Fire Protection Compact Advisory Committee promotes effective prevention and control of forest fires in the southeastern region of the United States by the development of integrated forest fire plans, the maintenance of adequate forest firefighting services by the member states, and providing for mutual aid in fighting forest fires among the compacting states of the region.
  • Sen. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, to the Florida High School Athletic Associations Public Liaison Advisory Committee
    • The authority and duties of the Public Liaison Advisory Committee are to act as a conduit through which the general public may have input into the decision-making process of the Association and to assist the Association in the development of procedures regarding the receipt of public input and disposition of complaints related to high school athletic and competition programs; to conduct public hearings annually in each of the four administrative sections during which interested parties may address issues regarding the effectiveness of the rules, operation, and management of the organization; and to conduct an annual evaluation of its findings and recommendations to the Board of Directors, to the Executive Director of Education, and to the respective education committees of the Florida Senate and Florida House of Representatives.
  • Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Lady Lake, to the Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys
    • The 2006 Florida Legislature established the Florida Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys to study conditions negatively affecting black males in our state. The Council is housed in the Office of the Attorney General and has concentrated its efforts on developing programs and services based on sound practices that will improve the lives of black males. The Senate President is tasked with appointing four board seats to the Council, including one Republican Senator and one Democrat Senator. Sen. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, currently serves as the Senate’s Democratic Appointee.
  • Dr. Tushar Patel to the Biomedical Research Advisory Council
    • The Biomedical Research Advisory Council, is established in F.S. 215.5602, and advises the State Surgeon General as to the direction and scope of the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program and the Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research Program.
  • Ms. Patricia Williams and Ms. LaVon Davis to the Florida Council on Arts and Culture
    • The Florida Council on Arts and Culture is the 15-member advisory council appointed to advise the Secretary of State regarding cultural grant funding and on matters pertaining to culture in Florida.
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