State Representative Jimmy Patronis will remain as chair of the Florida Defense Support Task Force through November 2014. Senate President Don Gaetz announced the appointment Friday.
The Legislature created the Defense Support Task Force as an advocate for the state’s military bases and installations. The committee is responsible for promoting the state’s $74.3 billion defense industry, through military-friendly proposals to the Governor, research and advocacy.
“As a business owner in Bay County, Representative Patronis lives and breathes the importance of the military, military families and the defense industry every day,” Gaetz said in a statement. “Though it may be unprecedented for the Senate to name a House member to this kind of leadership position, I am grateful that Representative Patronis has agreed to continue his service on this extraordinarily important issue.”
One of the most pressing issues the Task Force will need to address is federal sequestration. Last week, state economist Amy Baker testified before the Legislature that if Congress doesn’t move to avoid a prolonged sequestration, the effect on the state could be as much as a $2.239 billion drop in revenues, with even more in the private sector.