Gaetz appointed to chair three Senate committees

Dec 8, 2008

Senator Don Gaetz Newsletter--December 8, 2008

Tallahassee, Florida/  Senate President Jeff Atwater has named Senator Don Gaetz to chair three Senate committees, giving the Panhandle Republican sway over issues ranging from health care to business regulation to transportation to economic policy.

Gaetz, halfway through his first four-year term, is one of five senators overseeing “policy groups” and managing the flow of legislation to the Senate floor.   

The Business and Industry Policy Group, which Gaetz will lead, includes Senate committees on commerce, transportation, regulated industries, banking and insurance.  He also heads the Senate’s Select Committee on the Economy, a powerful bipartisan group charged with creating incentives and removing disincentives to economy recovery and making state and local government function less expensively and more effectively.

Atwater has also named Gaetz as chairman of the Senate committee with jurisdiction over health policy and regulation.  Gaetz is a former hospital administrator, served as president and chairman of the National Hospice Organization and co-founded VITAS Healthcare Corporation, a national health services company which he and his partners sold in 2004.

Additionally, the Niceville resident is a member of the ways and means policy group, which has jurisdiction over the state’s budget and tax policy, and the social responsibility policy and steering committee.  Gaetz is also a member of the rules, health appropriations, and education K-12 committees.

Senator Gaetz represents the Northwest Florida counties of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton and Bay.  Prior to his unopposed election to the Senate in 2006, he was Superintendent of Schools in Okaloosa County, one of only a handful of non-educators to lead U.S. public school systems.