House Speaker Richard Corcoran is reshuffling the leadership deck chairs with more changes to come in the weeks ahead.
The Land O'Lakes Republican announced Tuesday that Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, is the new chairman of the Commerce Committee, replacing Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, who resigned to run for an open Senate seat in Miami-Dade. Boyd had been chairman of the Ways & Means Committee that writes tax legislation, but Rep. Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, who recently won a GOP caucus vote to be House speaker in the 2022-2024 cycle, will be its new chairman. Renner, a redshirt freshman, had held no chairmanship.
"Updated committee assignments will be made in the next few weeks," Corcoran told members in a memo. That signals more change is coming from the speaker, who has the final say on members' assignments that determine political power and, in many cases, campaign fund-raising strength.
Two Tampa Bay Republicans sure to get new assignments are Reps. Kathleen Peters of Treasure Island and Dan Raulerson of Plant City, both of whom are on the outs with Corcoran. Peters chairs an energy and utilities subcommittee and has announced plans to leave in 2018 to run for a Pinellas County Commission seat, citing Corcoran's agenda to reduce local government home rule powers. Raulerson is alternating chairman of the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee.
Under House rules in effect since 2000, committee assignments are good for one year only. They are two years in the Senate.