Florida Legislature convenes for organizational session

On Nov. 20, the Florida Elections Canvassing Commission met to officially certify the results of the 2018 elections. While the elections will be remembered for being extremely close, in the end, the recounts did not change the results. Ron DeSantis (R) is officially the Governor-elect, incumbent CFO Jimmy Patronis (R) was officially re-elected, Ashley Moody (R) will be the new attorney general, and Nikki Fried (D) will be the lone Democrat in the cabinet, being elected as the new commissioner of agriculture following a manual recount.

The two legislative races that went to manual recounts produced the same results as election night, with Senate District 18 being won by Janet Cruz (D-Tampa) and House District 26 being won by Elizabeth Fetterhoff (R-Daytona Beach). With those results becoming official, the Florida Senate will be a 23-17 Republican majority, and the Florida House will be a 73-47 Republican majority.

Following the official certification of the election, both chambers met in Organizational Session to officially elect their chamber leaders. The 40-member Senate met first and elected Sen. Bill Galvano, a 52-year-old Republican lawyer from Bradenton, FL, as the chamber’s new president. He will lead the Senate during the 2019 and 2020 regular sessions.

The House then met and elected Rep. Jose Oliva, a 45-year-old Republican cigar-company executive from Miami Lakes, FL, as the chamber’s new speaker. Sen. Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville, FL, and Rep. Kionne McGhee of Miami, FL, will lead the Democratic caucuses in the Senate and House.

The Legislature will return to Tallahassee in December for the first of its Interim Committee weeks and will begin its annual 60-day session on March 5, 2019.

Remember, registration for the 2019 Florida Advocacy Conference is now open. Please join us in Tallahassee, March 26-27, 2019, as we bring our credit union message to the Florida Capitol!