Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Renner's New Chair Election Positions Him for Speaker

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Renner's New Chair Election Positions Him for Speaker

Article excerpt

Byline: Tia Mitchell

Rep. Paul Renner is already benefiting from his election to the position that puts him in line to become Florida's House speaker in five years.

The current speaker, Richard Corcoran, announced last week that Renner is the new chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, a panel that focuses on government finances and taxes. The reshuffling of committee leadership was warranted by the resignation of Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, who is running in a special election for a Senate seat.

It is rare for a freshman like Renner, R-Palm Coast, to be appointed to lead any committee. The role puts him in Corcoran's inner circle along with the other two men ahead of Renner in the speakership line, Rep. Jose Oliva and Rep. Chris Sprowls.

Corcoran stayed out of the freshman GOP caucus's leadership race that Renner won last month, although there were rumors he preferred the guy who ended up in second place, Rep. Jamie Grant. By giving Renner a leadership role, Corcoran is signaling unity and making it clear that Renner is part of the team.

Here are some other thoughts as I scroll down my news feed ...

SCHOOL DISTRICTS, ESPECIALLY DUVAL, SHOULD PLAN TO JUSTIFY EVERY PENNY

Two separate actions by state lawmakers could have big impacts on Duval County schools. One of them, a review of the formula used to allocate state spending among 67 districts, isn't targeted at anyone. But the portion of the formula that Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, and Sen. Travis Hutson, R-St. Augustine, have asked to be studied benefits Duval and other urban districts by shifting money to them under the assumption that costs of living are higher in more-populous counties.

The second request should be even more concerning to Duval County School Board members. Rep. Jason Fischer, R-Jacksonville, has asked the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee to dig into the district's finances. Fischer, a former school board member, cited reported budget deficits. …

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