A sweeping regional view of Tampa Bay is what puts State Sen. Bill Galvano once again on the SaintPetersBlog list of Tampa Bay’s Most Powerful Politicians, this year down two spots to #15.
Galvano’s first term in the Senate has been a productive one, after serving in the House from 2002-2010.
As chair of the Education Appropriations Subcommittee, and as a member of the Appropriation, Education, Health Policy and Gaming committees, Galvano’s influence in 2014 will extend far beyond the borders of Senate District 26 — a vast swath of South Central Florida from Hillsborough to Charlotte and Glades counties.
An example of his long-range vision for Tampa Bay, the Bradenton Republican — with the support of the influential Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Florida Community Developers — recently filed SB 372, which extends the “dense urban land area” designation to counties with a minimum of 300,000 residents or densities of 400 people per square mile. It would exclude those counties from state and county assessment for “development of regional impact,” and give more “home powers” to provincial and municipal authorities, when it comes to planning and development.
Also on Galvano’s agenda for 2014 is SB 732, recently approved unanimously by the Senate Education Committee. It would recalculate the formula determining costs for future tuition in the Florida Prepaid College Program — potentially saving Florida families as much as $50 million. He also worked in an amendment to a committee bill that caps Florida universities tuition differential to 6 percent, down from 15 percent.
The future of gambling in Florida is another choice legislative issue, which Galvano — who helped craft the Seminole Compact in 2010 — will surely have a significant role in revisiting.
On top of everything else, Galvano’s name has also been talked up as a top choice to assume the role of Senate President in 2019-2020.
“Senator Galvano’s effective nature and leadership style are rooted in his connection to his district and constituency,” says Republican political consultant Anthony Pedicini. “Second only to his family, spending time in his community and continuously communicating with folks around the district is a priority and keeps the senator close to the people he serves.”
“Being so grounded and in line with the people back home,” Pedicini adds, “liberates Galvano to focus on big picture issues of major statewide impact, work closely with other members of the legislature and cabinet, gain their trust for his leadership bid and at the same time, be exactly who he is, just Bill.”
For a complete explanation of how this list was created and who comprised the panel that assembled it, please read here.