Sen. Prez Andy Gardiner taps Tom Lee for Appropriations Chair, Anitere Flores as Fiscal Policy Chair

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Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner did not discuss policy during November’s organizational session for the Florida Legislature but Tuesday he stated clearly he’s focused on the state budget.

Gardiner named Brandon Sen. Tom Lee chair of the Appropriations Committee and Miami Sen. Anitere Florida to lead the Fiscal Policy Committee.

“Each year we have a constitutional duty to pass a balanced budget,” Gardiner said in a prepared statement announcing the appointments.

“Sound management and careful oversight of the year-round appropriations process is critical to meeting our obligation to craft our budget within the time-sensitive environment of a 60-day session.

The newly formed Fiscal Policy Committee will provide an alternative path to the Senate Calendar for bills with a minimal fiscal impact, said Gardiner. “The committee on Appropriations will remain the primary vehicle to produce” the budget.

Lee was Senate President from 2004 – 2006. He returned to the Senate in 201 and has served as deputy majority leader.

“Tom has a great deal of experience and a keen understanding of the multifaceted appropriations process,” said Gardiner.

Committee meetings for the 2015 Legislative Session will begin the week of Jan. 5.