Gov. Rick Scott reappointed three agency heads to their posts today, and they'll get another shot at Senate confirmation next year. If that doesn't happen, Surgeon General John Armstrong, Corrections Secretary Michael Crews and Department of Economy Opportunity executive director Jesse Panuccio will be out of a job.
Although the Senate confirmed dozens of Scott appointees during the session, there were many others who were passed over. Many were for specific reasons, such as Armstrong, who rubbed senators the wrong way, and members of the board overseeing the controversial Florida Polytechnic University. In other instances, the Senate said it simply ran out of time.
In total, the governor reappointed 42 people to their positions, including dozens of board and commission members. He has 45 days after session to reappoint anyone who failed to receive Senate confirmation, though if it happens two years in a row that person must leave the position.
"I am honored to continue serving Governor Scott and this reappointment is a reflection on the great work of the dedicated staff at DEO," Panuccio said via email. "Florida's economy is thriving and I look forward to driving the Governor’s pro-growth economic policies forward."
Here is Scott's statement on the three agency heads:
Governor Scott said, "Dr. Armstrong has done a terrific job leading the Florida Department of Health over the last year. Under his leadership, the Department has become more efficient for Florida taxpayers, and focused on its mission to keep Florida families healthy. I look forward to Dr. Armstrong continuing his work at the Department of Health."
Michael D. Crews, Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections, is reappointed for a term beginning May 16, 2013, and ending at the pleasure of the Governor.
Governor Scott said, "Secretary Michael Crews has worked in corrections for nearly 30 years, and has utilized that experience to keep Florida a safe state to live and visit. Secretary Crews leads a team of hard working professionals who have shown proven results, with recidivism dropping to 27.6 percent in Florida. I am happy to reappoint him to a second term."
Jesse Panuccio, Executive Director of the Department of Economic Opportunity, is reappointed for a term beginning May 16, 2013, and ending at the pleasure of the Governor.
Governor Scott said, "Florida’s economic success has continued under Jesse’s leadership at the Department of Economic Opportunity, our state’s chief economic agency. Jesse has worked to create an environment where Florida’s private sector can create jobs and opportunities for Florida families. Our efforts have worked. Our state’s unemployment rate continues to drop and we have created over 320,000 private-sector jobs in 2 years. It’s my pleasure to reappoint Jesse to lead the Department of Economic Opportunity."