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Rep. Halsey Beshears, R-Monticello, talks on his phone in the hallway behind the floor of the House Friday, May 5, 2017 at the Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla. He had just missed presenting a bill on deregulation of professions and occupations; Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, took his place. (Photo by Phil Sears)

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Halsey Beshears confirmation — again — falls short of unanimous vote

“There isn’t a plan of action.”

When it comes to Halsey Beshears, voting against him once just isn’t enough for Sen. José Javier Rodríguez.

The Miami-Dade Democrat on Tuesday again voted against confirming Beshears, Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ nominee for Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).

Rodríguez voted ‘no’ on Beshears, a Monticello Republican, at an Ethics and Elections Committee meeting, just as he had previously at an Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government.

Rodríguez’s issue stems from DBPR’s inaction on condominium complaints, a problem that the senator says has hit his South Florida constituents particularly hard.

The lawmaker said he’s not voting to confirm Beshears unless the nominee brings forward a plan to fix the backlog going forward: “I don’t doubt he understands the problem,” Rodríguez admitted of Beshears in comments before Tuesday’s hearing.

Still, Beshears was confirmed with a 4-1 vote Tuesday. In fact, the Ethics and Elections Committee signed off on a spate of other DeSantis appointees.

The committee also held confirmation hearings for Secretary of State Laurel Lee, Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Secretary Simone Marstiller and Department of Management Services (DMS) Secretary Jonathan Satter.

Those three sailed through without opposition.

As to Beshears, however, Rodríguez said he couldn’t “vote for his confirmation, or the confirmation of anybody in that post if there isn’t a plan of action.”

Those complaints were similar to Rodríguez’s stance the last time he got a chance to question Beshears. Asked if a plan has been put forward in the nearly three weeks since, Rodriguez replied, “Nothing has changed.”

Sure enough, Beshears admitted he hasn’t nailed down a concrete plan but recognizes the delays are a problem.

“I don’t think money’s the issue,” Beshears said. “I think it’s a personnel issue and I think it starts with our agency. And I’m not going to stand up here and give you a plan until I come up with something that’s solid. I’ve told you that before. But it is something I’m absolutely committed to addressing.”

That commitment fell short of securing a “yes” vote from Rodríguez.

Tuesday’s hearing marked the last stop for all four appointees before a vote by the full Senate.

Marstiller has already been approved by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, while Lee and Satter were both approved by the Senate Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government also signed off on Satter.

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

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