House Speaker Richard Corcoran released his version of musical chairs on Thursday, giving 21 of the 27 freshman Republicans elected last fall vice chair positions, ousting veterans in many cases and replacing three lawmakers who have resigned since session ended -- Reps. Jose Felix Diaz, Eric Eisnaugle and Dan Raulerson.
The big winner appears to be Rep. Jamie Grant, who lost a bitterly fought race for House speaker designate for 2020 earlier this summer, and was awarded the chairmanship of the Health Quality Subcommittee. As we have already reported, Rep. Paul Renner becomes the new chair of Ways and Means and the Ways and Means Chair, Rep. Jim Boyd, becomes the new chair of Commerce, replacing Jose Felix Diaz.
Republican Reps. Kathleen Peters and Cary Pigman, seem to have gotten the biggest demotions.
Last session, Peters resisted but consented to the House leadership's insistence that the committee hear a high priority bills for Florida Power & Light that would have allowed them to charge customers for fracking operations in other states. Corcoran removed her as chair of the Energy & Utilities Subcommittee and a position on the Ways & Means Committee. She will now have two new committee assignments: Public Integrity & Ethics Committee and Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee. The new chair on the utilities subcommittee is Corcoran loyalist Jay Trumbull.
Pigman, a doctor who had an embarrassing arrest for drunk driving last session, lost his chair of the Health Quality Subcommittee.
Here are the other vice chair shuffles:
* George Moraitis, Appropriations Committee, to Jeanette Nunez.
* Larry Ahern, Post-Secondary Education Subcommittee, to Thad Altman.
* Ben Albritton, Natural Resources and Public Lands Subcommittee to Ralph Massullo.
* Justice Appropriations Subcommittee to Cord Byrd.
* Elizabeth Porter, Agriculture & Property Rights Subcommittee to Charles Clemons. She retains Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee vice chair.
* Neil Combee, Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee to Clay Yarborough.
* Robert Cortes, Education Committee, becomes vice chair of Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee.
* Jake Raburn, Pre-K-12 Appropriations Subcommittee to Byron Donalds.
* Brad Drake, Transportation Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee to Michael Grant.
* Jay Fant not only lost the vice chair of the Civil Justice and Claims Subcommittee to Erin Grall, he lost his position on the House Judiciary Committee and the Ways and Means Committee. He was added to the Education Committee and the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee.
* Careers & Competition Subcommittee to Randy Fine.
* Pre-K Innovation Subcommittee to Jason Fischer.
* Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee to Don Hahnfeldt.
* Gayle Harrell, Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee to Cyndi Stevenson.
* Sean Harrison lost Health Innovation Subcommittee vice chair to Frank White, but gained the Judiciary Committee vice chair -- previously held by Ross Spano -- and retained the Rules and Policy Vice chair.
* Blaise Ingoglia, Oversight, Transparency & Administration Subcommittee to Bob Rommel.
* Clay Ingram, Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee, to Robert Cortes.
* Jennifer Sullivan, Public Integrity & Ethics Committee to Thomas Leek. Sullivan, however, is promoted to vice chair of the Education Committee.
* Energy & Utilities Subcommittee to Bobby Payne.
* Post-Secondary Education Subcommittee goes to Mel Ponder.
* Charlie Stone, Government Accountability Committee, to Jayer Williamson. But Stone retains Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee.
Some things will not change. David Santiago will retain the vice chair of Insurance & Banking Subcommittee and Health & Human Services Committee. Mike Miller retains the vice chair of Tourism & Gaming Control Subcommittee. Rene Plascencia remains vice chair of both Health Quality Subcommittee and Pre-K 12 Quality Subcommittee. Julio Gonzalez retains his vice chairmanship of both the Children, Families and Seniors Subcommittee and the Criminal Justice Subcommittee.
Bryan Avila retains his vice chairmanship of the Commerce Committee and remains as alternating chair of the Joint Committee on Public Counsel. Halsey Beshears loses his place on the Ways and Means Committee.
Colleen Burton is elevated in a couple of ways. She's now chief deputy whip and becomes vice chair of Ways and Means instead of the vice chair of Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee. Danny Burgess is added to Oversight, Transparency and Administration Subcommittee.
There appear to be only a handful of changes for Democrats. Tracie Davis was added to the Health and Human Services Committee and Emily Slosberg was added to the Judiciary Committee.