Senate President Joe Negron named eight Republicans and one Democrat to the powerful Constitution Revision Commission Wednesday that he said each have a "tireless work ethic" and a commitment to revising the state constitution to reform state education laws.
"The appointees are strong advocates for school choice opportunities that celebrate the power of the parents to determine what form of education is best for their child,'' Negron said in a statement.
Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran each have nine appointments to the 37-member commission that meets every 20 years to put constitutional amendments directly on the 2018 ballot.
Gov. Rick Scott has 15 appointments to the panel, and will name its chair, and Supreme Court Justice Jorge Labarga made his three appointments to the panel last week. Attorney General Pam Bondi is also automatically a member of the commission.
Negron made his selections from a list of 100 applicants and among those he rejected were two sitting senators, Dana Young, R-Tampa and Greg Steube, R-Sarasota.
Negron and Corcoran have both indicated they will choose applications to the panel who are committed to education reform and increasing school choice options for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Corcoran has said he wants the panel to recommend disabling the "Blaine Amendment," which prohibits state money from going into religious education programs, and both have been vigorous defenders of Florida's school voucher programs and the state's expansion of charter schools.