Tampa Bay House members get new committee assignments

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Pinellas County’s newest state representatives are already securing posts in committees ahead of the 2015 Legislative Session in March. House Speaker Steve Crisafulli today announced committee assignments for the 2015 Tallahassee class of lawmakers.

Chris Sprowls, the Republican lawyer who ousted Clearwater teacher and Democrat Carl Zimmerman in November, will assume posts on five committees and subcommittes. Those include the Government Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, Higher Education and Workforce Subcommittee, Health and Human Services Committee, Health Innovation Subcommittee and Health Quality Subcommittee.

Newly elected state Rep. Chris Latvala, who is replacing term-limited Republican Ed Hooper, is taking on four posts. He’ll sit on the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, Highway and Waterway Safety Subcommittee, Criminal Justice Subcommittee and Business and Professions Subcommittee.

Another lawmaker representing parts of Pinellas County and the Tampa Bay area legislative delegation is Larry Ahern. He’ll have a say in education spending from his seat on the Education Appropriations Subcommittee. Other posts include the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, Highway and Waterway Safety Subcommittee, Local and Federal Affairs Committee and Business and Professions Subcommittee.

State Rep. Kathleen Peters of St. Pete managed to stave off a serious challenger this election cycle. She’ll continue working in committees including the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee, Economic Affairs Committee, Transportation and Ports Subcommittee and the Children, Families and Seniors Subcommittee.

Across the Bay in Hillsborough County, Dan Raulerson will chair the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee. He’ll also serve on the education committee and Government Operations Appropriations, K-12 and Veteran and Military Affairs subcommittees.

Shawn Harrison will serve on the State Affairs Committee as well as subcommittees for Health Care Appropriations, Economic Development and Tourism and Higher Education and Workforce.

Jake Raburn has been assigned to the Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee, Higher Education and Workforce Subcommittee, Regulatory Affairs Committee, State Affairs Committee and Agriculture and natural Resources Subcommittee, and Ross Spano will sit on the Justice Appropriations, Transportation and Ports, Higher Education and Workforce and Criminal Justice subcommittees. He’ll also serve on the Education Committee.

Democrats in Hillsborough County will also serve residents from their minority party. Janet Cruz will serve on five committees and subcommittees including the Appropriations Committee, Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee, Health and Human Services Committee, Energy and Utilities Subcommittee, State Affairs Committee and Joint Legislative Budget Committee.

Fellow Democrat Ed Narain will sit on the Economic Affairs Committee, the Economic Development and Tourism Subcommittee as well as the Transportation and Ports and Health Quality Subcommittees.

Democrat Dwight Dudley will continue his work fighting against advanced nuclear cost recovery fees for Pinellas County residents on the Energy and Utilities Subcommittee. He’ll also serve on subcommittees for Civil Justice and Local Government Affairs as well as the House Judiciary Committee.

Darryl Rouson, whose district sprawls parts of Pinellas, Hillsborough and Manatee counties, will serve on the Appropriations committee, Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, Regulatory Affairs Committee and Business and Professions Subcommittee. This is Rouson’s last term in office. St. Pete City Council member Wengay Newtwon has filed to run for his seat.

State Rep. Dana Young of Hillsborough County is only serving on one committee, but it’s a big one – Appropriations. Young is also the Majority Leader.

Richard Corcoran represents residents in Pinellas County’s neighbors to the north. He’ll chair both Appropriations and the Joing Legislative Budget Commission. Another Pasco County representative, Daniel Burgess, will serve on the Justice and Appropriations Subcommittee, Local and Federal Affairs Committee and Veteran and Military Affairs Subcommittee.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.