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New NE Florida lawmakers receive committee assignments

Fresh off easy general election victories in special elections to fill vacancies left in the wake of former Sen. John Thrasher‘s move from the Legislature to the helm of Florida State University, three newly minted legislators representing the northeastern corner of Florida received their committee assignments this week.

Sen. Travis Hutson of Elkton, who replaced Thrasher in Senate District 6, will sit on these committee panels:

  • Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice;
  • Children, Families, and Elder Affairs;
  • Commerce and Tourism;
  • Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities;
  • Community Affairs, and;
  • Environmental Preservation and Conservation.

With action ranging from Amendment 1 implementation to changes on the Public Service Commission, Hutson will have plenty to sink his teeth into for the final few weeks of Session.

His new colleagues will find themselves somewhat less encumbered by new bills requiring action as House budget chief Richard Corcoran has declared dead all business still in subcommittee. The steep learning curve of Tallahassee’s legislative culture will keep them plenty occupied, no doubt.

Palm Coast Rep. Paul Renner, who takes over Hutson’s old House District 24 seat, has joined these committees:

  • Health & Human Services Committee;
  • Health Innovation Subcommittee;
  • Highway & Waterway Safety Subcommittee, and;
  • Veteran & Military Affairs Subcommittee.

There’s certainly some unfinished business in Health & Human Services, so Renner finds himself in the middle of a huge debate with national implications.

St. Johns Rep. Cyndi Stevenson cruised to the widest margin of victory of the bunch in her bid to replace Rep. “Doc” Renuart, who resigned his seat to challenge Hutson for the vacant Senate seat. She joins:

  • Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee;
  • Government Operations Appropriations Subcommittee;
  • Health Quality Subcommittee, and;
  • Higher Education & Workforce Subcommittee.

Elsewhere in this week’s game of legislative musical chairs Tequesta Rep. MaryLynn Magar is now vice-chairwoman of the House Health & Human Services Committee, taking the place of former vice-hair Renuart.

Written By

Ryan Ray covers politics and public policy in North Florida and across the state. He has also worked as a legislative researcher and political campaign staffer. He can be reached at

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